HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine today visited a Harrisburg school to highlight important measures everyone should take in order to avoid getting – and spreading -- the flu. The Department of Health partnered with Harrisburg School District to hold a flu vaccine clinic at Downey Elementary School in conjunction with the department's "Stopping the Flu Starts with YOU" campaign.
"The flu virus can spread quickly, and school-aged children can be a primary source of flu outbreaks, so eligible individuals or families should consider taking advantage of flu clinics like this one," said Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine. "By increasing vaccination rates, entire communities will benefit: those who are most vulnerable, including the elderly, infants, and those with compromised immune systems, will remain protected, and we can reduce absenteeism for students and missed work days for parents who have to care for their sick children."
As part of the department's ongoing efforts to promote the "Stopping the Flu Starts with YOU" campaign, Dr. Levine stressed the importance of everyone getting an annual flu vaccine and other preventive measures. She also read a children's book promoting proper hand washing hygiene to kindergarten students. Department of Health staff members were on-site to demonstrate proper hand washing techniques to help children learn the proper way to wash their hands to prevent the spread of flu and other germs.
In addition to getting vaccinated, individuals can take everyday preventive actions like washing hands often with soap and warm water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer; covering the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; and avoiding contact with sick people. In addition, those who are sick with flu should stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health's flu vaccine clinics provide vaccines at low or no cost for uninsured/underinsured adults, as well as children through 18 years of age. The cost is $5 per person for individuals and families that meet the guidelines; however, no one is denied because of an inability to pay. For more information regarding future clinics and to schedule an appointment, residents must call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258).
Visit www.flufreepa.com for more information about influenza.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Amy Worden or Yasmin Coleman, DOH, 717-787-1783
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health