Find out where to get the flu shot near you!

Steps to prevent or lessen the impact of Influenza (Flu)

Everyday steps to stay healthy

  • Wash hands often and thoroughly – sing happy birthday twice while you wash!
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or shirt sleeve
  • Use a tissue, throw it away and then wash your hands
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Skip the quick hug or embrace when greeting your old friend
  • Flu viruses can spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing, by touching something with flu viruses on it, and, in some cases through, the air

Steps to take if you or someone in your family gets the flu

  • STAY HOME – if sick stay home from work or school
  • CALL FIRST – call your medical practitioner or clinic and tell them you may have the flu BEFORE you leave the house
  • MAKE A PLAN – consider actions to take care of you and your family:
    • What you and your family are going to do if the babysitter is ill
    • If your child becomes ill
    • If you have to stay home to take care of someone who is ill
Learn about Who Needs A Flu Vaccine.http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/whoshouldvax.htm
Who needs a vaccine? Find out.
Flu Near YouSymptoms of influenza can cause mild to severe illness, including: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, and chills. 

Health Department clinics do not provide primary care. If you're ill, you need to first call your primary care provider (family doctor) before going to the office and discuss what your symptoms are so the staff there can respond appropriately.

Vaccine Information

Most pharmacies and clinics have the flu shot, which is often free with most health insurance. You can also contact your primary care provider (family doctor) or click here for locations near you.

Everyone older than 6 months should receive the flu vaccine. The following groups are especially encouraged to get vaccinated:
  • Women who are pregnant during the influenza season
  • People 50 years and older
  • Infants and young children (6 months‐4 years old)
  • Residents of nursing home or long‐term care facilities
  • American Indians/Native Alaskans
  • People with underlying medical conditions
  • Chronic pulmonary problems including asthma
  • Cardiovascular disease (except for high blood pressure)
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Neurologic disease
  • Hematologic disease
  • Diabetes and other metabolic disorders
  • Morbid obesity (body‐mass index >40)
  • Receiving long‐term aspirin therapy (ages 6 months‐18 years) due to the possible risk of developing Reye’s syndrome
We recommend that you call the pharmacy before you go for your vaccine to make sure they accept your specific insurance and are able to administer the vaccine for your age group. You can search for a list of vaccination providers here.

For additional information regarding the influenza virus call the Disease Information Line (520) 243-7800 or 1-(800) 939-7462.

Documents and Resources

Flu Guide for Parents - English Spanish

You’ve got the flu: Is the Emergency Department for you?

When to bring your child with fever and flu symptoms to the emergency room

1.You child is struggling to breathe.
 If your child’s skin has a blueish tinge, is breathing fast or is struggling to breath
2.Is not waking up
 It is normal when we’re sick to sleep or rest, but if you can’t get your child to wake during the day or the child is not interacting go to the emergency room.
3.If your child has a high-risk condition, such as heart, lung or kidney disease, or an immune-system disease and is spiking a high fever (103F-105F) seek medical help.
4.If your usually affectionate child is so irritable he or she doesn’t want to be held
5.Has a fever AND rash
6.If your infant has no tears when crying or has significantly fewer wet diaper for 8 to 10 hours.
7.Any infant less than 2 months old who has a fever over 100.4F.

If your child is at high risk of flu complications because of another condition, call your health care provider, otherwise you can probably avoid the emergency room. Try to make children as comfortable as possible at home.
1.Let them rest
2.Make sure that they are getting lots of fluids to avoid dehydration
3.Let the fever do its job. However, if your child is uncomfortable try lowering the body temperature with a lukewarm bath (do not use ice packs or alcohol bath) or giving acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Make sure you give the right dose! Talk to your pediatrician or pharmacists for help in finding the right dose. Do not over bundle them.

What if my child has a fever over 103, should I bring them in?
My child’s temperature recently soared to 105.6 Fahrenheit, and he was uncomfortable so we brought the fever down by alternating doses of ibuprofen and acetaminophen, talk to your pediatrician before trying a combination approach. DO NOT GIVE THEM ASPIRIN – there has been an association with Reye’s syndrome. The medications won’t get rid of the flu, but they may help you and your child ride out the flu with less suffering. If the fever persists for more than three days or if your child develops any of the symptoms above contact your pediatrician.

What we can and can’t do in the emergency room
There is nothing we would like more than to make your child feel better. It’s what we’ve dedicated our lives to. When it comes to the flu we are limited in what we can do. Because the flu is a virus, antibiotics like amoxicillin are USELESS. In fact, they are worse than useless and can be harmful if used when not needed.


While there are antiviral drugs like Tamiflu, there is a very small window at the beginning of the flu where they have limited effectiveness. Usually, by the time your child is exhibiting symptoms, it’s too late. What we can do in the emergency room is help if your child is dehydrated or struggling to breathe.

How can we stop the rest of the family from getting sick?
1.Teach your children to cough into their elbows and model the behavior to help reduce the amount of germs flying through the air.
2.Make sure everyone in the family practices good hand-washing technique and washes their hands frequently–after going to the bathroom, before eating or touching their face, etc.
3.Use masks! Stop the droplets.
4.Get the flu vaccine. I know, I know, this year’s flu vaccine isn’t as effective as usual, but it is stopping some of the flu variants, AND it may help reduce the length of time you’re affected.
5.Eat well, get plenty of sleep and exercise.

If you’ve come down with influenza, how do you know when you should see your primary care provider or if you should go to the emergency room?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a flu guidance page on its website to help you determine whether you should head to the emergency room or your doctor. In short, the emergency room should only be used by those who are very sick and are exhibiting emergency warning signs, including:

In adults

◾Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
◾Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
◾Sudden dizziness
◾Severe or persistent vomiting
◾Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough

Some people are at much higher risk of developing serious complications from the flu than others.

They include:
◾pregnant women or new mothers who have given birth in the past two weeks
◾children, especially those under 2 years old
◾adults over 65
◾people whose body mass index is over 40
◾people with diabetes
◾anyone with a medical condition that compromises his or her immune system
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Health Department

3950 S. Country Club Road
Ste. 100
Tucson, AZ 85714

(520) 724-7770

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