Flu season in full swing in Northern Nevada
With the flu season in full swing and the spread of the disease increasing nationally, it’s important for the residents of Carson City to get their vaccines.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the number of people seeing their providers for influenza has been increasing the last three weeks. In Nevada, the CDC rates the state as low influenza activity.
Though activity has been low, Nevada saw its first flu-related death in Clark County in November. The Washoe County Health District reported 238 cases in the county as of the end of November.
Getting a flu vaccine is an easy way to help combat the virus. For instance, in Carson City, the Walgreens offers four kinds of flu vaccines free of charge to almost everyone because it falls under preventive care.
“The more people who get vaccinated, the less spread of the disease,” said Tanya DeMichele-Sandy, pharmacist at the Carson City Walgreens.
And now is a good time to get the vaccine. DeMichele-Sandy said the season starts in about August and runs heavily until about December, then in January they’ll often see a large spike in the virus again.
“Flu season has been busy for us, we have been giving out a lot of shots this year,” said DeMichele-Sandy.
She said people often say they don’t want to get the vaccines because they don’t have time.
“It is concerning (to hear that) because we will have lots of young adults especially say they don’t have time to come in,” DeMichele-Sandy said.
However most flu shots take only about 15 minutes. And patrons can go online at Walgreens.com and fill out their vaccine forms ahead of time. Walgreens also takes both walk-ins and appointments until 10 p.m. every day. Usually though, it takes about two weeks for the immunity to build after the shot.
“It is important because one, you want to protect yourself, it is like washing your hands and resting and eating healthy you want to take care of yourself,” said DeMichele-Sandy. “And two, you want to get it for your family members, especially new parents or grandparents with babies or anyone with a compromised immune system.”
And for further incentive, Walgreens offers the get a shot, give a shot program through the UN Foundation, which will provide someone in an underprivileged country a flu shot for everyone administered at the store.
“So not only are you helping yourself but you are also helping someone overseas,” DeMichele-Sandy said.
In addition to getting the shot, there are a number of things people can do to stay healthy during the season.
“Wash your hands frequently, carry alcohol wipes and especially get lots of rest,” DeMichele-Sandy said. “If you are sick, use the drive-through when possible, wear a mask when you go out and make sure you still are washing your hands and resting.”