The first week of October marks the official start of flu season in the United States. Beginning in October and lasting through May, flu season is the period when flu germs are most likely to be around and to make people sick. Each fall the flu returns to our community and brings with it the fever, cough, sore throat, congestion, muscle aches and fatigue that many of us dread. The symptoms can be mild and last only a few days or they 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 otherwise healthy people, flu can lead to complications like ear infections, pneumonia and even death.
Luckily, you can protect yourself and your family from the flu by coming to the Carson City Senior Center, 911 Beverly Drive, on from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 20 to get your flu shot. Carson City Health and Human Services staff will be on site to administer flu vaccinations. Do not let the location fool you as this event is open to everyone in the community. The flu shot is $20. CCHHS can bill Medicaid, Medicare and most private insurances for your convenience, so please bring your insurance card if you have one. No one will be turned away for an inability to pay.
You can help prevent the flu in our community 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 of you getting the flu and lessen the chance that you will spread it to others. Health officials recommend everyone older than 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 community flu vaccination event on Sept. 20, the flu vaccine will be available at Carson City Health and Human Services’ Immunization Clinic every Thursday between 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. and 1 and 4:30 p.m. on a walk-in basis. The clinic also accepts many forms of insurance. For information on the flu vaccine or other Health Department programs and services, check out our website at www.gethealthycarsoncity.org or “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cchhs.