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Health Department Reports North Central Region's First Lab-Confirmed Flu Case of the Season
Date:12/5/2008

Department Reminds Pennsylvanians to Get a Flu Shot

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --A woman in Centre County is the North Central region's first state laboratory-confirmed case of influenza this season, the Pennsylvania Department of Health said today.

"Peak flu season is quickly approaching," said acting Health Secretary Everette James. "We cannot over-emphasize the importance of getting vaccinated. It's the best way to protect yourself and those around you."

The influenza vaccine is recommended for the following high-risk individuals:

  • All children 6 months through 18 years of age;
  • People 50 years of age and older regardless of their medical history;
  • People with underlying health conditions such as heart, respiratory, kidney, liver metabolic, and immune system problems;
  • People with weakened immune systems such as HIV/AIDS, long-term treatment of steroids, and cancer treatment with X-rays or drugs;
  • People who have cognitive dysfunction, and muscle or nerve disorders (such as spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy or seizure disorders) that can lead to breathing or swallowing problems;
  • People who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy who, therefore, might be at risk for Reyes syndrome after influenza infection;
  • Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities;
  • Women who will be pregnant anytime during the influenza season;
  • Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children 0-59 months of age;
  • Physicians, nurses, family members, or anyone else in close contact with any of these groups at risk for influenza; and
  • Anyone wishing to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill from influenza.

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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health
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