The New Orleans Health Department encourages all residents and visitors of New Orleans to protect themselves and others by following these guidelines during flu season.
Know the symptoms
Influenza is a virus that infects the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and make you very tired. If you think you may have the flu, talk to your doctor right away.
Everyone over 6 months should get vaccinated every year
The flu vaccine is safe for anyone over the age of 6 months and does not cause the flu. Children under 8 years who get the flu shot for the first time need to get two doses.
Don't spread the flu
- Cover your mouth with your arm or tissue when you cough
- Wash your hands often
- If you are sick, stay home so you do not spread the flu
- If your child is sick keep him/her at home until s/he does not have a fever for at least 24 hours
Who is most likely to experience medical issues from getting the flu?
Vaccination is highly recommended for all individuals ages 6 months or older, but there are certain groups who are more likely to experience serious effects. These include:
- All children aged 6 months to 5 years old
- All adults aged 50 years or older
- Adults and children who have chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (excluding isolated hypertension), renal, hepatic, neurologic, hematologic, or metabolic disorders (including Type 2 diabetes)
- Individuals who are immunocompromised due to any cause (including but not limited to immunosuppression caused by medications or HIV infection)
- Persons who are or will be pregnant during the influenza season
- Children and adolescents (aged 6 months through 18 years) who are receiving aspirin- or salicylate-containing medications and who might be at risk for experiencing Reye syndrome after influenza virus infection
- Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
- American Indian or Alaska Native persons
- Persons who are extremely obese (body mass index ≥40 for adults)
Frequently Asked Questions
When does flu season start?
Flu season usually starts in October and ends in May each year, but it can change depending on the virus. January and February are the months the most people get the flu.
How do I know if I should get the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine is recommended for anyone over the age of 6 months. If you have questions about getting the flu vaccine, talk to your healthcare provider for more information.
Where can I get the flu vaccine?
Many pharmacies and doctors' offices have the flu vaccine. The HealthMap Vaccine Finder can help you locate a flu vaccine provider near you.
Who is able to use the nasal spray vaccine?
The person must be between 2 and 49 years, healthy and NOT pregnant. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to find out if you can get the nasal spray.