Monday, December 10, 2018

Health Department Continues to Offer Flu Vaccines

The Sequoyah County Health Department continues to offer free flu vaccines for all ages.

Kristye Adams, a registered nurse at the county health department, said they still have doses of the vaccine to administer. She said the shots are free; however, those with insurance are asked to bring their insurance card in.

“If the insurance doesn’t pay for it, there will not be a charge,” Adams said.

Adams said it is too early into the flu season for health officials to determine how effective this year’s flu vaccine is. Flu season typically runs from October to March or April, with the peak usually hitting in February.

“We gave 150 to 200 more flu shots this year in October compared to October of last year,” Adams said.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, 17 new flu hospitalizations were reported last week, bringing the total to 112 since September. Sequoyah County has only had one influenza-associated hospitalization since September. Four people have died due to flu thus far in the state.

Flu symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches, and fatigue.

All persons ages 6 and older are recommended for the annual flu shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A special vaccine is available for those ages 65 and older, according to Adams.

While the flu vaccine is the single best way to prevent the flu, health officials also urge individuals to practice proper hand washing techniques, to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, to avoid close contact with others who are sick, and to stay home if they are sick, so as not to spread the disease.

Pam Cloud, Managing News Director

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