News Release

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Contact: Greg Raver-Lampman, (757) 668-7554, Greg.Lampman@chkd.org

Flu vaccine available before expected outbreak hits

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. –- Hampton Roads residents who have yet to receive flu immunization still have a chance to protect themselves before the flu season takes hold.

The Centers for Disease Control and the Virginia Department of Health have both reported widespread flu outbreaks in Virginia, most concentrated in the western part of the state. If the spread follows traditional patterns, a flu outbreak in Hampton Roads is likely to hit in the next couple weeks.

Flu causes fever, runny nose, sore throat and congestion and can be dangerous for children and the elderly. Each year in the U.S., flu sends to 200,000 people to the hospital and kills 36,000.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, certain groups of children should receive priority for the vaccine. These groups are:

  • children ages 6 to 59 months
  • children with chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease and sickle cell anemia
  • and siblings living with an infant under 6 months of age

Symptoms can be alleviated by getting a flu shot. There’s still time to call your child's pediatrician and schedule a flu shot before the outbreak takes hold.

For more information about the flu and ways to prevent or treat it, go to www.chkd.org and click on “flu facts.”