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December 5, 2008
Oswego County to Offer Influenza Vaccine
during National Influenza Vaccination Week
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has designated the week of Dec. 8 to 14, 2008, as National Influenza Vaccination Week. This event is designed to highlight the importance of continuing influenza or flu vaccination, as well as foster greater use of flu vaccine through the months of November, December and beyond.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Some people, such as older adults, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. Every year in the United States, on average:
- 5 percent to 20 percent of the population gets the flu;
- more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and;
- about 36,000 people die from flu.
The “flu season” typically runs from November through April in the United States and often doesn't peak until February.
“The best way to prevent this illness is by getting a flu vaccination,” said Dr. Dennis Norfleet, Interim Public Health Director for Oswego County. “Of course, getting the vaccine as soon as it's available in your community is best, to make sure protective antibodies are in place before flu activity is typically at it's highest,” added Dr. Norfleet.
In addition to the flu vaccine the following good health habits can prevent the flu and other respiratory illnesses:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- Wash your hands often
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
Practice other good health habits like getting enough sleep, staying physically active, managing your stress, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating nutritious foods
The Oswego County Health Department offers flu vaccine for those aged 6 months and older. For information or to make an appointment for a flu shot, call the health department at 349-3547 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3547, or visit the county's flu appointment Web site at www.onflu.net/oswego/.
The cost of the flu vaccine is $35 for adults and $20 for children 18 years of age and under. Those with Medicare should bring their cards and the staff will bill Medicare for you. Those with Medicaid should bring their cards and there will be no charge. A reduced fee is available to those with limited incomes. No one is turned away based on their inability to pay.
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