Flu Shot Procrastination Might Lead to the Flu

Thursday, January 20, 2011 - 8:16am

Influenza Season is Almost Here

The full force of the flu season is making its presence known all over Canada, and in several neighboring states. Health authorities are expecting that it will hit Dane County soon. This means that the time for procrastinating about getting a flu shot is over unless you want to risk losing a week of work suffering the miseries of fever, coughs, head and body aches.

For the elderly, people with immune system problems, the very young and those with chronic health problems, these unpleasant symptoms can turn into a very serious health risk. People with lung problems like asthma and pregnant women are also more likely to end up in the hospital as we found out in 2009, when H1N1 flu struck.

The good news is that this threat can be avoided with a simple vaccination. This year, the vaccine covers H1N1 along with two other strains, so only one dose is needed to get the job done. The CDC now recommends EVERY person over age 6 months get an annual influenza (flu) shot. Every day you put it off is a day you become more at risk of catching this nasty virus.

Flu shots are readily available through local clinics, other health care providers, some pharmacies and other retail outlets. Public Health Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) has flu vaccine free at its immunization clinics for uninsured children over 6 months of age.

Check our website at
www.publichealthmdc.com/disease/immunizations for detailed clinic schedules.

Other steps you can take to minimize the risk include
• Wash your hands frequently
• STAY AWAY from sick people
• Know the symptoms of flu-fever, cough aches. (It's not the diarrhea and vomiting bug)
• Stay HOME when you're sick-don't spread flu to others
• Take care of yourself-
-rest
-fluids
-over-the-counter pain medications for body ache (children should NEVER be treated with aspirin. Reyes syndrome, a serious illness, can result).

Talk to your doctor or nurse if fever remains high or breathing problems develop.

For more information about the flu, see the following link
www.cdc.gov/flu/

For more information about where to obtain flu vaccine in Dane County, call 2-1-1.

Contacts: 
  • Jeff Golden, (608) 243-0302