Public Health

The mission of the Butte County Public Health Department (BCPHD) is to protect the public through promoting individual, community, and environmental health. This is achieved by providing a wide range of services in more than 50 programs including: women and children’s health, communicable and infectious diseases, planning for and responding to disasters, healthy and safe animals, and protecting natural resources while improving the environment.


What is the flu?

Influenza, commonly called “the flu” is caused by the influenza virus, which infects the respiratory tract (nose, throat, and lungs). Influenza is a leading cause of illness in the United States and can lead to serious medical conditions, hospitalization or even death. Flu seasons are unpredictable. They can begin early in the fall and last late into the spring. Influenza is extremely contagious and spreads very easily in communities. The best way to protect yourself from the flu is by getting an annual flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available.

Who should get vaccinated?

It is recommended that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every year. It is especially important for individuals at high-risk for having serious flu-related complications such as:

  • Pregnant women 

  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old 

  • People 50 years of age and older 

  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions 

  • People who live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities 

  • People who live with or care for those at high risk including healthcare workers, and caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated) 

What are common symptoms of the flu?

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills 

  • Cough 

  • Sore throat 

  • Runny or stuffy nose 

  • Muscle or body aches 

  • Headaches 

  • Fatigue (tiredness) 

  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

  • *It's important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

What can I do to protect myself?

The single best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. There also are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent the flu.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too. 

  • Stay home when you are sick If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness. 

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. 

  • Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. 

  • Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. 

  • Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Where can I get vaccinated?

Doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and clinics often have flu vaccine available. Butte County Public Health sponsors many free vaccination clinics throughout flu season and offer free or low-cost vaccinations for eligible individuals in their Chico and Oroville health clinics.

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Butte County Communicable Disease
Phone: 530.538.2840
Fax: 530.538.5387

Sexually Transmitted Disease Info Line:

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Butte County Communicable Disease
202 Mira Loma Drive
Oroville, CA 95965

Office Hours
Monday to Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Except Holidays

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Public Health Department

202 Mira Loma Drive
Oroville, CA 95965

Report a Health Emergency
24-Hour Line: 530.538.7581

Cathy A. Ravesky, Director
Mark A. Lundberg, M.D., M.P.H., Health Officer
Public Health Leadership Team