Medicine

Flu season is upon us. Here’s what Vancouverites need to know

Flu season is upon us. Here’s what Vancouverites need to know

People attending the clinic won't have to leave the comfort of their vehicle to get the free flu shot. "Also, a number of flu shot clinics have been/are being offered", said David Salafsky, director of health promotion-preventive services for Campus health and Wellness, via email.

Flu vaccines are recommended for everyone six months and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) American Academy of Immunization Practices.

This is because getting the flu jab while you have a fever could prolong your recovery and your body may not respond as well as it should to the flu vaccine.

Today, the flu season continues to be a serious health threat causing approximately 3,500 deaths in Canada, according to the agency. The CDC conducts studies each year to see how well the vaccine protects folks from the flu. "We think that people do have a good amount of immunity against H3N2, which we've had for the last two seasons".

A high-dose shot is available for seniors aged 65-plus, who are often at higher risk for severe complications from influenza, which in some cases can be fatal.

Although everyone can get the flu, certain individuals are at higher risk for flu complications including difficulty breathing, pneumonia, or requiring hospitalization.

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For more information about scheduling an appointment for a flu vaccine, contact the Bartow County Health Department - located at 100 Zena Drive in Cartersville - at 770-382-1920.

Lastly here are some easy measures you can take at home to help stop the spread of the flu in Hays County: • When you cough, cough into your arm or hand.

Although locally it was a typical season, it's still important to prepare for the worst. You want people to protect themselves and you don't want folks who are caretakers spreading influenza. "And to me - I have three kiddos - and of course I got them vaccinated, because I'd rather take that chance to have somewhat protection against whatever is circulating than none at all".

This might not be realistic for everyone, but, as much as you can, try to avoid large crowds during flu season. I know it wasn't from the shot because outside of the live attenuated nasal spray, all the other vaccines do not contain live virus.

Besides getting a flu shot, is there anything else we can do to help protect ourselves and others?

I always tell people who say they had a touch of the flu, no you didn't. Some people don't have a fever with influenza and their illness might be mitigated if they got vaccinated. In some seasons, there are two peaks of influenza outbreak activity; one during the latter part of the year; and, another just before spring. Throw them out and wash your hands.

An Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan and most other billable insurance plans are covered under Campus Health, and these plans also cover the $27 bill.


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