This year is the 100th anniversary of the 1918 flu pandemic that killed more than 650,000 Americans. Additionally, the first week of October marks the official start of flu season in the United States. Flu season is the period when flu germs are most likely to be in our community and to make people sick. Each fall, the flu returns and brings with it the fever, cough, sore throat, congestion, muscle aches and fatigue many of us dread. The symptoms can be mild and last only a few days, or can be severe and hang around for weeks.
For those with other health conditions, like asthma or diabetes, the flu can make those illnesses worse. Even in healthy people, the flu can lead to complications like ear infections and pneumonia.
Luckily, you can protect yourself and your family from the flu, while doing a bit of community service at the same time. In collaboration with Emergency Management, EMS, Fire, Public Works, and the Sheriff’s Office, Carson City Health and Human Services will be hosting a drive-thru flu clinic on Saturday. The event will be held in the Carson DMV parking lot from 9 a.m. to noon. Please enter the drive-thru flu clinic from Little Lane; traffic signs will be present to guide you. This event will help Carson City officials practice how quickly they can distribute a lot of medications to a lot of people during an emergency or disaster. By attending the flu clinic, you’re not only protecting yourself from the flu, but you’re helping Carson City be better prepared to respond to emergencies!
The flu shot is $20. However, Carson City Health and Human Services can bill Medicaid, Medicare and most private insurances, so please bring your insurance card to the clinic. No one will be turned away for an inability to pay.
You can help prevent the flu by taking a few easy steps now and throughout the flu season.
Get your flu vaccine: An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances you’ll get the flu and lessen the chance you’ll spread it to others. Everyone over 6 months of age should be vaccinated, except people who are allergic to eggs, those with a previous severe reaction to flu vaccine, or people with a history of Guillain–Barré syndrome.
Wash your hands: Handwashing prevents the spread of flu and other germs, like the common cold. Good hand hygiene can protect you against many types of germs. Use soap and water or hand sanitizer to keep your hands clean.
Cover your cough: If you do find yourself coughing and sneezing, cough into your elbow to prevent spreading germs to those around you.
If you become ill, stay home to avoid making others sick.
For those who are unable to attend the drive-thru flu clinic, the flu vaccine will be available at Carson City Health and Human Services’ immunization clinic every Thursday between 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4:30 p.m. on a walk-in basis. The clinic also accepts Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurances.
For information on the flu vaccine or other Health Department programs and services, check out our website at www.gethealthycarsoncity.org, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cchhs, or call us at 775-887-2190. You can also find us at 900 E. Long St. in Carson City.