Influenza Fact Sheet
Oakland County, Michigan -- Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) urges residents to get vaccinated against the seasonal flu and take appropriate precautions to avoid getting ill. Flu shots are $16 at OCHD offices. Offices are located at 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, Pontiac, and 27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield. Hours are noon – 8 p.m. Monday and 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
"Everyone should take the proper precautions such as getting a flu shot, washing their hands often with soap and water, staying hydrated by drinking water, and getting enough sleep. If you do get sick, residents are advised to call their medical doctor or urgent care immediately. Avoid visiting the emergency room unless you are extremely ill or advised to go by your physician," said Kathy Forzley, Manager/Health Officer of OCHD.
To date, there have been 18 pediatric deaths nationwide and four in Michigan. Flu is a life-threatening disease, especially for the elderly and infants who are at greatest risk of contracting illness. If you are around these high-risk populations, it's also important to protect yourself so you protect them. It's recommended individuals 6 months and older get vaccinated against seasonal flu every year.
"Compared to recent years, we are seeing early flu activity, although it is still within normal range. We have seen peaks as early as October and as late as March in the past. It's best to get your flu shot as soon as possible as it takes two weeks after the vaccination for the body to develop protection," said Forzley.
Flu can be spread to others up to about six feet away, mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own eyes, nose or mouth. To avoid this, wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. The flu usually comes on suddenly and can cause mild to severe illness, and at times lead to death. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- Fever or chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
Residents may pre-register for a flu shot at an OCHD office by calling 248-858-7350 (Pontiac) or 248-424-7120 (Southfield). Walk-in appointments are welcome. Walk-in payment options include Medicare, Medicaid and cash (no credit cards, checks or money orders).
For more information, call OCHD's Flu Hotline at 1-800-434-3358 or Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533. You can also find more information by visiting oakgov.com/health or facebook.com/publichealthOC.
For media inquiries only, contact Kathy Forzley, Manager/Health Officer of the Oakland County Health Division, at 248-858-1410.