With 2013 shaping up to be one of the worst flu years in recent memory, Westchester officials are urging residents to hit the doctor's office or pharmacy, roll up their sleeves and receive a shot.
"You should always get a flu shot to protect yourself," said county health commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler. "Many local pharmacies still have flu vaccine, and it’s never too late to benefit."
This year's vaccine steels residents against the three strains of the flu that are currently circulating, Amler said. She noted those most vulnerable to flu complications are pregnant women, adults 50 or older, and children under five.
County executive Rob Astorino has asked resident to follow simple guidelines to stay healthy and prevent the flu's spread.
"Three simple steps that can help you stay healthy are washing your hands, staying home when you're sick and avoiding others who are not well," he said.
To prevent spreading the flu, cough or sneeze into your elbow and wash your hands often with soap and water, Amler added in a county press release. And if you do become ill, "get plenty of rest, exercise and eat healthy food," she advised.
About 36,000 lives are lost in the United States each year due to the flu.
For more information about the flu, contact the Westchester County Department of Health at (914) 813-5000 or go to www.westchestergov.com/health