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Health Department Reports South-Central Region's First Lab-Confirmed Influenza Case of the Season
Date:12/16/2008

Department Reminds Pennsylvanians to Get a Flu Shot

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A woman in Blair County is the south-central region's first state laboratory-confirmed case of influenza this season, the Pennsylvania Department of Health said today.

"There is plenty of vaccine available," said acting Health Secretary Everette James. "We want to remind Pennsylvanians that it's still early in the flu season and it is not too late to get a flu shot. It is the best way to protect yourself and those around you."

The influenza vaccine is recommended for the following 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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