According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu season can begin as early as October. With flu season fast approaching, view these resources to help your local health department prepare for the next outbreak of flu.
Local health departments should utilize National Immunization Awareness Month in August to promote the importance of getting a flu vaccination. The National Public Health Information Coalition has a communications toolkit containing articles, Facebook posts, tweets, web links, and resources to help spread awareness about immunizations. It also contains information on vaccinating populations that are vulnerable to the flu, including pregnant women and children. See more ways local health departments are promoting National Immunization Awareness Month
Local health departments can also get involved in Flu Near You, an online health reporting system. Through Flu Near You, thousands of volunteers answer a brief, weekly digital questionnaire about their health to benefit their community’s flu awareness and tracking. NACCHO is working with the Skoll Global Threats Fund in partnership with HealthMap of Boston Children’s Hospital to explore how local health departments can encourage people in their communities to enroll in Flu Near You and leverage the data as part of ongoing local influenza surveillance efforts. With more people enrolled in Flu Near You, the aggregate data can outline regional flu trends more accurately and complement existing public health surveillance systems. If your local health department is interested in or already using Flu Near You data for local influenza surveillance efforts, email firstname.lastname@example.org.