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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 125-05
Thursday, December 29, 2005

MEDIA CONTACT: (212) 788-5290; (212) 788-3058 (After Hours)
Sandra Mullin (smullin@health.nyc.gov)
Andrew Tucker (atucker@health.nyc.gov)


FLU ACTIVITY IS PICKING UP IN NEW YORK CITY

Health Commissioner Reminds New Yorkers Most Likely to Have Serious Illness or Die from the Flu to get a Flu Shot

New York City - December 29, 2005 - Daily monitoring of hospital emergency department visits suggests that flu activity is increasing in New York City . The growing number of New Yorkers experiencing cough and fever over the past several days – signs typically associated with the spread of community-wide flu – is a reminder for New Yorkers to get vaccinated for influenza. Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, Commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), today urged New Yorkers – especially those who are over 65 or have long term illness – to get a life saving flu shot from their doctor or a DOHMH clinic.

“Flu season is upon us,” said Dr. Frieden. “Our most recent monitoring of hospitals indicates that more people are experiencing flu symptoms, which means there are potentially thousands of New Yorkers spreading the flu. While many people can endure a few days of illness, each year too many New Yorkers get sick and, sadly, as many as 2,500 die from flu and pneumonia. But most flu illness and death can be prevented with a simple, safe flu shot. Every New Yorker who wants a flu shot should get one either from their doctor, or from one of our clinics.”

DOHMH encourages all New Yorkers, especially those who are of high risk of serious illness, to get a flu shot from their doctor. DOHMH clinics offer no-cost flu shots throughout the five boroughs. Please visit nyc.gov/health/flu or call 311 for DOHMH clinic locations. Healthy people between the ages of 5 and 49 may receive either a flu shot or a dose of a nasal spray influenza vaccine (Flumist®) from their doctor.

Who Should Get a Flu Shot
  • People age 50 and older;
  • Children age 6 to 23 months;
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities;
  • Pregnant women;
  • Persons age 6 months and older with long-term health problems, such as: diabetes; lung disease, including asthma; heart disease; kidney disease; sickle cell anemia; immune system problems (including people with HIV/AIDS, and those being treated for cancer or taking high-dose steroids); conditions that can cause breathing problems (such as cognitive dysfunction, spinal cord injuries, seizure disorders, or other neuromuscular disorders); children age 6 months to 18 years on long-term aspirin therapy;
  • Caregivers and household members of all people listed above, especially those in contact with infants younger than 6 months (babies this age can get the flu, but are too young for a flu shot); and
  • Health care workers.
Help Stop the Spread of Flu and Other Infections

Get a flu shot every year as soon as you can. A flu shot cannot give you the flu, and this year's flu shot is needed to protect against this year's flu. Additionally, to reduce respiratory infections year-round:

  • Stay home when you're sick with fever and cough.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based solution.
DOHMH Flu Shot Clinics
CLINIC POPULATION SERVED DAYS/TIMES OF OPERATION TRAVEL DIRECTIONS
Tremont Health Center
1826 Arthur Avenue - 1 st Fl.
Bronx, New York
Btwn: Cross Bronx Expwy & Tremont Ave.
Children >= 4 years of age and Adults Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
8:30 AM to - 2:30 PM
#2 or #5 train to East Tremont Ave-West Farms Square, or # 4 train to Burnside Ave, then #40 or #42 bus to Arthur Ave
Homecrest Health Center
1601 Avenue S - 1 st Fl
Brooklyn, New York
Btwn: East 16 th & E 17th Sts.
Children >= 4 years of age and Adults Monday, Wednesday and Friday
8:30 AM to - 2:30 PM
B or Q train to Kings Highway , or Q train to Ave. U
Chelsea Health Center
303 Ninth Avenue - 1 st Fl.
Manhattan, New York
Btwn: 27 th & 28 th Sts.
Children >= 4 years of age and Adults Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
8:30 AM to - 2:30 PM
C or E train to West 23rd Street or #1 train to West 28th Street
Corona Health Center
34-33 Junction Blvd - Basement Level
Queens , New York
Btwn: 34 th Ave. & 34 th Rd.
Adults Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
8:30 AM to - 2:30 PM
#7 train to Junction Boulevard
Richmond Health Center
51 Stuyvesant Place - 1 st floor
Staten Island , New York
Btwn: Wall St & Richmond Terrace
Adults (Flu and Pneumonia Shots) Monday
8:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Near the Staten Island Ferry Terminal

For more information about flu shots or preventing the flu, visit nyc.gov/health/flu.

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