Health officials ramp up for upcoming flu season

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Local health officials are ramping up for the upcoming flu season by providing a free flu clinic.

With so many of us out and about this holiday, picking up the flu may be one gift we don't want this season. The flu season is right around the corner. Nine-year-old Alondra Ornelas of Fresno came with her family to get vaccinated. "It's good for you because so you won't get sick or a disease," Ornelas said.

The family is doing their best to stay healthy this season, even if it means dad has to lead by example. "Look it doesn't hurt," the dad said to his daughter. "Look I got Elmo."

The Ornelas family was one of many taking advantage of the Fresno County Public Health Department's free flu clinic that's now underway. "The flu virus does get transmitted through the air," specialist Natalia Vargas-Leanos with the department said. "So when you cough or happen to handle a door and someone coughed right there, even when we talk we are transmitting some of the droplets and they believe that's how it gets spread."

The Diocese of Fresno is also taking precautions. They recently sent their annual flu notification to parishes. "Parishes are strongly encouraged not to have communion from the cup during the flu season," said Teresa Dominguez with the diocese. "And only the host, the body of Christ."

Dominguez says the church is urging people to stay home if they're sick, wash your hands and if possible get a flu shot. Over at the Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis, dozens of people are out shopping for last minute gifts.

Hand sanitizers are out to prevent the flu from spreading. As for the Rodriguez family of Fresno, they all got their shots, including Alondra. "I am worried because there is six in our family," mother Maria Rodriguez said. "If one gets sick, we all fall. It's better to be preventative. And now that we're all here, we all got it, so we're like 'yay.'"

A worry she can put to the side, now that they've taken their health in their hands.

With flu season peaking in January and February, health officials are urging you to get your vaccines now or take precautions to make sure you're healthy this holiday season."
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