Influenza Vaccines Available at
Primary Care Associates
Last year's influenza season resulted in nearly 20,000 reported cases—four times the number of the previous year—and presented a public health emergency for New York State. State and federal health agencies currently are monitoring virus activity for the 2014-2015 flu season.
To help you prepare for this influenza season, infectious disease experts and primary care physicians at Mount Sinai offer information and steps you can take to lower your risk of getting the flu, prevent its spread, and avoid the potentially life-threatening complications associated with influenza viruses.
Who's at Risk?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that each year between five and 20 percent of the U.S. population get seasonal influenza (flu), and on an average, more than 200,000 individuals are hospitalized with complications associated with the disease. Flu-related complications range from mild to severe and include conditions such as sinus infection and bronchitis, with the most severe being pneumonia.
Those who are at higher risk for serious complications from the flu include:
- Children from six months to four years old; according to the CDC, severe flu-related complications are most common in infants and toddlers under the age of two
- Children and adults with chronic health conditions such as:
- Types of heart disease
- Asthma or other pulmonary/lung diseases
- Diabetes or other metabolic conditions
- Kidney, blood, liver disorders
- Neurological conditions
- Adults aged 65 and older
- Pregnant women
- People with immune systems weakened by disease or medication
- Morbidly obese individuals
- Individuals 18 years old and younger on aspirin therapy
- Native Americans and Alaska Natives
If you have a high-risk health condition and experience flu-like symptoms it is important to contact your doctor to determine if your symptoms need further assessment and/or treatment.
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself and Others from the Flu
Flu viruses can spread through contact with an infected person or by transfer to the mouth, nose, or eyes after touching something with the virus on it. You can help lower your risk for becoming infected and/or spreading a virus with these preventive steps.
Get a flu shot
A seasonal flu vaccine is the most effective method of fighting the virus. The CDC recommends that individuals six months of age and older receive a flu shot. For people at higher risk for serious illness from flu-related complications, getting the vaccine is especially important.
Residents of the New York metropolitan area can arrange a convenient appointment with a primary care physician, by calling (212) 241-6585.
Avoid spreading the flu virus to others
It is possible for someone who is infected to spread the infection to others as early as one day before developing symptoms and as late as a week after becoming ill.
To help prevent the spread of infection:
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- As much as possible, avoid contact with sick people
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with tissues or by coughing or sneezing into the crook of your elbow instead of into your hands
- Exercise, eat healthy, and get plenty of sleep as part of your daily routine
- Wipe down surfaces at work and at home that may be contaminated from frequent touching (telephones, keyboards, counter tops)
- If you are sick, limit your contact with others to prevent spread of the infection
- If you have a flu-like illness with a fever, remain at home for 24-hours until the fever goes away without the use of fever-reducing medication
As part of its commitment to protecting the health of our patients, staff, and community, Mount Sinai will continue to provide updates about the 2014-2015 influenza season.
More information about influenza
For more information about influenza, visit:
- Mount Sinai's Influenza Frequently Asked Questions
- New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
- Centers for Disease Control's What You Should Know for the 2014-2015 Influenza Season