News Release
January 8, 2013

Protect Yourself This Flu Season

City Reminds Residents to Follow Simple Steps to Help Prevent Influenza


CONTACT:  Brian Richardson,


CHICAGO - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported widespread influenza activity in Illinois and across the nation this year.  In response, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) encourages all residents to take simple steps to help prevent the spread of influenza and continues to offer flu shots in neighborhood locations across the city.

"Flu season has hit early and it has hit hard," said CDPH Commissioner Bechara Choucair, M.D.  "Luckily, there are simple steps that most of us can take to keep ourselves and our families healthy this winter."

"First and foremost, get vaccinated," said Dr. Julie Morita, CDPH Medical Director for the Immunization Program.  "Flu season is here but it is not too late to get a flu shot."

CDPH recommends that individuals receive vaccinations from their own doctor or other regular health care provider.  For those without a health care provider, there also are other convenient, affordable opportunities to get a flu shot, including retail pharmacies and CDPH Fast-Track Immunization Clinics.

CDPH Fast-Track Immunization Clinics provide flu vaccinations at no charge for adults and children six months and older. Clinics are open five days a week in several locations across Chicago.  For locations and hours of operation, click here.  Additionally, the CDPH Mobile Immunization CareVan offers free immunizations.  

In addition to getting a flu shot, CDPH recommends the following simple steps to avoid contracting or spreading the flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.  Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Don't share cups, straws or anything that goes in the mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze, and promptly discard used facial tissues.
  • If you are sick, stay home.

Other important factors that help prevent getting sick:

  • Eating nutritious food like whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
  • Getting enough rest and staying physically active to help the body fight off disease.
  • Not smoking and reducing your exposure to secondhand smoke. Smoke impairs the ability of your mucous and cilia to trap dust and microbes including flu viruses.

Limited media availability with CDPH officials, today and tomorrow, to discuss influenza in Chicago.  Please direct all media interview requests to Brian Richardson, Director of Public Affairs, Chicago Department of Public Health, at