Cleveland Clinic Opens Local Flu Clinics, Encourages Vaccinations

Physicians urge everyone six months and older to get vaccinated, ideally by the end of October

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Andrea Pacetti 216.444.8168

As flu season nears, Cleveland Clinic is offering flu vaccination clinics at numerous locations across Northeast Ohio. Information on all the clinics, including dates, times and locations, can be found at www.clevelandclinic.org/flu.

Infectious disease officials recommend everyone six months and older should get vaccinated every year by the end of October. The flu is contagious and can cause serious respiratory infection. The timing of seasonal flu activity is unpredictable and can vary, but most typically occurs between October and May. After vaccination, it can take two to four weeks for the antibodies that protect against the influenza virus infection to develop in the body. Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk for developing flu complications, such as adults age 65 and older, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions, and children younger than age five. Yearly vaccination provides the best protection against flu throughout the season.

“The flu is not something to be taken lightly – every year thousands of people are hospitalized or die from the illness,” said Susan Rehm, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at Cleveland Clinic. “By getting vaccinated, you’re protecting yourself and others by lessening the amount of flu that’s spread around the community.”

The 2018-2019 flu season lasted 21 weeks, making it the longest season in a decade. The CDC estimates around 42 million people were sickened by influenza, leading to up to 647,000 hospitalizations and 61,200 deaths.

In addition to getting the vaccine, you can take flu-prevention measures all season long, such as staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others. In addition, there are prescription antiviral medications that can be used to treat influenza illness.

Symptoms of the flu include fever, dry cough, headache, sore throat, chills, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite.

About Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 66,000 employees are more than 4,200 salaried physicians and researchers and 16,600 nurses, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic’s health system includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 11 regional hospitals in northeast Ohio, more than 180 northern Ohio outpatient locations – including 18 full-service family health centers and three health and wellness centers – and locations in southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nev.; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2018, there were 7.9 million total outpatient visits, 238,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 220,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/CCforMedia and twitter.com/ClevelandClinic. News and resources are available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.