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During bad flu seasons, 3 out of 10 school-aged children get sick from the flu. Many of these school aged children and adolescents will miss days from school and their parents will miss work to stay home with them!
A yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting your child from getting the flu. This flu season, one flu vaccine will protect against three different flu viruses; including the H1N1 virus that caused so much illness last season.

Every year in the United States more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu complications, including 20,000 children; and about 36,000 people die from seasonal flu. In Maryland last year, 46 individuals died as a result of the flu.  Unfortunately, five of these individuals were children. Thirty Seven of the 46 individuals who died from the flu last season had an underlying chronic medical condition (diabetes, lung disease, or cardiovascular disease).

Flu seasons are unpredictable in a number of ways. Last flu season the new H1N1 influenza virus caused the first worldwide outbreak of influenza in more than 40 years.

The Prince George’s County Health Department wants to ensure that every school-aged child and adolescent in Prince George’s County receives a flu vaccine this flu season. They will begin vaccinating public elementary school students in the county this October.  All residents are encouraged to access community clinics, their primary physicians, local grocery stores, work place and pharmacies to obtain a flu shot.

One of the Health Department’s major community flu vaccination clinics will be held at this year’s Holiday Food & Fitness Expo which takes place on November 6, 2010 at the Wayne K. Curry Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, Maryland.

Take steps every day to prevent the flu!  Stay away from people who are sick with the flu and wash your hands to reduce your chance of catching or spreading the flu. If you or your child is sick with the flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading influenza to others. This year get the flu vaccine and protect the health of your family and loved ones.

For more information please contact the Prince George’s County Health Department Healthline at 1-888-561-4049.