Bent County Public Health will have a flu clinic on Friday, Oct. 25 and Friday, Nov. 8, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 701 Park Avenue in Las Animas for everyone six months and older.
Flu is a serious contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. Flu viruses are constantly changing. Each flu season, different flu viruses can spread, and they can affect people differently based on their body’s ability to fight infection. Everyone six months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu as soon as the 2013-2014 season vaccine is available.
People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older. Vaccination of high risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness. Vaccination is also important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading the flu virus. Children younger than six months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for them should be vaccinated instead.
In addition to vaccination, CDC advises people to take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- f you are sick with flu–like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever. For additional information about flu clinics or answers to other questions about the seasonal flu, individuals are encouraged to call their primary care provider or Bent County Public Health at 456-0517.