Flu season is fast approaching, and the Evanston Health & Human Services Department encourages all residents to get a flu shot to help keep the community healthy this winter.

A list of locations where flu shots are available can be found online.

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a viral infection that affects the respiratory system’s nose, throat and lungs. Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, head and body aches, and fatigue.

It is thought that a person with the flu can spread it through droplets produced when they cough, sneeze or talk. When the droplets get in the mouth or nose of someone nearby, that person can become sick. People with the flu can be contagious before they even know they’re sick and for up to a week or longer after they get sick.

The flu is highly contagious and can cause serious, even life threatening, complications. It can be especially dangerous for the very young, elderly, and those with conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease. Getting a flu shot can help protect you and the people around you from getting sick; nearly everyone from babies as young as six months old to senior citizens can get one.

To reduce the spread of influenza and other illnesses this winter, the Health & Human Services Department reminds residents to practice the 3 C’s:

  • Clean — Properly wash your hands frequently
  • Cover — Cover your cough and sneeze
  • Contain — Contain your germs by staying home if you are sick

For more information, call the Health & Human Services Department at 847-448-4311.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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