Keep your loved ones safe—take flu prevention efforts before the holidays

Keep your loved ones safe—take flu prevention efforts before the holidays

OK (KSWO)- Before you gather up the family for the holiday season, make sure you have your flu shot! The State Department of Health is reminding Oklahomans to brave the needle to reduce the risk of spreading the illness.

"It is important to stay home from holiday gatherings if you have symptoms of influenza which are fever, chills, body aches, and a cough or a sore throat," said State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley. "It is better to miss out on some holiday fun than risk infecting others. Flu can be especially dangerous for pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and those who have underlying health conditions such as asthma and other lung diseases."

The OSDH reports 63 hospitalizations associated with the flu since the season began in September. The highest number of flu-related hospitalizations is among those who are older than 50 years of age and children younger than 5.

Getting the vaccine is the most effective way to avoid the flu. They are administered at county health departments, medical providers, and many pharmacies.

The flu vaccination is recommended for anyone 6 months of age and older.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.