Three free flu clinics are planned for children in Oct.
Frederick, Md (KM) Officials with the Frederick County Health Department are reminding residents that flu season began on October 1st, and will continue through the middle of May, and it’s time to get a flu shot.
Darlene Armacost, the Program Manager for Communicable Disease at the Health Department, says there are certain population groups that are most susceptible to influenza. “We’re most concerned about children younger than five years of age and people over 65 years of age, as well as pregnant women and people who have health issues such as asthma, diabetes, heart, and people who take medication which weakens their immune system such as chemotherapy,” she says.
The Health Department is offering free flu vaccinations for children between the ages of six-months through 17-years of age. They will be held on Saturday, October 21st from 9:00 AM to 12:00 noon; Tuesday, October 24th form 6:00 PM until 7:30 PM; and Thursday, October 26th from 6:00 PM until 7:30. All clinics will take place at the Health Department’s headquarters at 350 Montevue Lane. Parents who want their children vaccinated against the flu should call ahead at 1-877-419-3409 to make an appointment. They can also go on line to www.frederickcountymd.gov/flu.
Only the injectable flu vaccine will be available.
The Health Department says it will not be holding vaccination clinics for adults. They’re encouraged to contact their family physician or get their flu shots at a local pharmacy or grocery store which administers them.
In addition to getting vaccinated, Armacost says there are other ways to protect yourself against influenza. “Eat well and get plenty of rest; avoid being around people who are sick; washing your hands frequently; covering your cough or sneeze; and if you use a tissue, remenber to wash your hands afterwards. And the important thing is if you’re not feeling well, stay home: don’t go to school or don’t go to work when you’re sick,” she says
Some of the symptoms of the flu include fever, headache, coughing, fatigue, chills and body aches. If you have these symptoms, Armacost says contact your family physician, but don;’t drop in unannounced. “They may not want you to come into the office and possibly spread it to other people. Or they may give you a special time when it would be best to come into their office,” she says.
Each year, physicians and other health care professionals strongly urge people to get vaccinated against the flu. But not everyone can safely receive the flu shot. “If they cannot get the vaccine, the most important thing is to stay away from people who are sick,” says Armacost. “I know there are some people who can’t receive the flu vaccine at this point in time. But trying to stay away from others who are sick is the most important thing to do.”
By Kevin McManus