Plattsburgh, NY




What is the Flu?

Flu, or influenza, is a contagious respiratory infection caused by a variety of flu viruses.  There are three types of flu viruses: A, B, and C. Type A and B cause the annual influenza epidemics that have up to 20% of the population sniffling, aching, coughing, and running high fevers.

Who does the Flu affect?

Everyone, some groups are more at risk but even healthy people may have serious complications or even die from the flu.  In the US, the flu is linked to between 3,000 and 49,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations each year.


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Why do I Need a Flu Vaccine Every Year? 

As determined by the Centers for Disease Control, the viruses in a flu shot and FluMist vaccine change each year based on scientists' tests about which types and strains of the flu will be the most strong that year.

Where do I get a Flu Shot?

Call your doctor or primary care provider to see if they are offering the vaccine.  You may also choose pharmacies and community retailers to get your vaccine.  They offer extended hours and many are available 7 days a week. 

Please check the link below to see the dates, times, and locations of flu clinics:

Flu Clinic Locator

How Does it Spread?

The flu is spread mainly by droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. 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 mouth, eyes or nose.

What are the Symptoms?

People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms. People often relate to having the flu as being “hit by a truck”.

  • fever* or feeling feverish/chills

  • cough                              

  • sore throat             

  • runny or stuffy nose

  • muscle or body aches

  • headaches

  • fatigue (very tired)

  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

* not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Can I Give the Flu to Other People?

You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms start and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick.  Children and people with a weakened immune system might be able to infect others for even a longer time.

How can I Protect Myself and those I Love from the Flu?

The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season. 

There are several flu vaccine options for the 2013-2014 flu season.

Traditional flu vaccines made to protect against three different flu viruses (called “trivalent” vaccines) are available. In addition, this season flu vaccines made to protect against four different flu viruses (called “quadrivalent” vaccines) also are available.

Trivalent flu vaccines protect against two influenza A viruses and an influenza B virus. The following trivalent flu vaccines are available:

  • Standard dose trivalent shots that are manufactured using virus grown in eggs. These are approved for people ages 6 months and older.

  • A standard dose trivalent shot containing virus grown in cell culture, which is approved for people 18 and older

  • A standard dose trivalent shot that is egg-free, (called FluBlok ® )approved for people 18 through 49 years of age.

  • A high-dose trivalent shot, approved for people 65 and older.

  • A standard dose intradermal trivalent shot, which is injected into the skin instead of the muscle and uses a much smaller needle than the regular flu shot, approved for people 18 through 64 years of age.

Quadrivalent flu vaccine protects against two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. The following quadrivalent flu vaccines are available: (May be limited in some areas)

  • A standard dose quadrivalent shot

  • A standard dose quadrivalent flu vaccine, given as a nasal spray, approved for healthy* people 2 through 49 years of age


Can I get the Flu from the Flu Vaccine?

No, vaccines are made with killed virus or weakened virus.  Some people may get a mild sore arm, minor aching, and runny nose or feel a little tired for a day or so.  This is the body’s way of building protection against the flu. 

Ways to Help Avoid Getting the Flu

Important ways to avoid both seasonal and H1N1 flu and prevent its spread are frequent hand washing, use of alcohol based hand sanitizers, coughing or sneezing into one’s sleeve, keeping at least six feet distance from people who have respiratory symptoms, and staying home when you are sick.

CCHD How to Stay Healthy
CCHD Is It a Flu or a Cold?
CCHD Flu Info for Schools


When to Be Vaccinated Against Seasonal Flu 

Flu vaccination should begin soon after vaccine becomes available, ideally by October.  However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even in January or later. While seasonal influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, most of the time influenza activity peaks in January or later.

Since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against influenza virus infection, it is best that people get vaccinated so they are protected before influenza begins spreading in their community.

Who Should be Vaccinated?

"Universal" flu vaccination is now encouraged for anyone over 6 months of age.  While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it is especially important that certain people are vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications.  

  • Children younger than 5, but especially children 6 month to 2 years

  • Adults 65 years of age and older

  • Pregnant women      

**NOTE: Children less than 3 years of age and women who know that they are pregnant, can not receive flu vaccine that contains more than trace amounts of the preservative thimerosal. Click here for more information on Thimerosal at CDC:

CDC's (VIS) "Inactivated" Flu Vaccine
CDC's (VIS) "Live Intranasal" Flu Vaccine (nose spray)   

High risk” are those who have medical conditions such as:

  • Asthma (even if  mild)

  • Neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions [including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability (mental retardation), moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury].

  • Chronic lung disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] and cystic fibrosis)

  • Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)

  • Blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease)

  • Endocrine disorders such as diabetes

  • Kidney disorders

  • Liver disorders

  • Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)

  • Weakened immune system due to disease or medication (such as people with HIV or AIDS, or cancer, or those on chronic steroids)

  • People younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy

  • People who are morbidly obese (Body Mass Index [BMI] of 40 or greater)

Who Else Should get Vaccinated?

Other people for whom vaccination is especially important are:

  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities

  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:

  • Health care workers

  • Persons living in a home with someone who has medical conditions. 

  • Household contacts and caregivers of children younger than 5 years of age.  Remember children younger than 6 months are at highest risk of flu-related complications but are too young to get vaccinated.  We must get vaccinated to protect them. 

Who Should NOT be Vaccinated Against Seasonal Flu

  • If you have a severe allergy to chicken eggs ask your doctor about FluBlok® a vaccine made without egg products.
  • People who have had a severe reaction to a flu vaccination in the past.
  • People who have had Guillian-Barré syndrome ( a rare neuromuscular disease)
  • Children younger than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for use in this age group).
  • People who have a moderate or severe illness with a fever should wait to get vaccinated until their symptoms lessen.

Flyers, Posters and Brochures to Post

Click here for "Someone at Home has the Flu" brochure
Click here for "Stay at Home" poster
Click here for "Ask about a Mask" brochure

Contact Us

To receive more information, call or visit us at:

Clinton County Health Department
Health Care Services Division
133 Margaret Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901
Tel: (518) 565-4848


               Note:  These are external web links.

Clinton County does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age or disability in employment or the provision
of services. The information on the Clinton County Health Department website is for educational purposes only. Nothing on the pages of this site shall be construed
as medical, fitness, dietetic, or other professional advice. This information is based on current beliefs among researchers and research studies published in the
current scientific literature. Clinton County is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse any content on external web links.


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