It’s always important for people to do everything they can to stay healthy, but with the added stress of the holidays it becomes more essential than ever. There is one simple step that everyone can take to protect themselves, their family and the community this holiday season: get immunized against the flu.
Montana has already had 21 confirmed cases so far in the 2012-2013 flu season. The Cascade City-County Health Department (CCHD) wants to take this opportunity to remind people that it is not too late to seek protection from this potentially serious illness. Getting your flu shot now can give you the protection you need to stay healthy throughout the winter.
National Influenza Vaccination Week provides an opportunity for public health professionals, health care providers, communities and families from across the country to work together to promote flu vaccination before the traditional winter peak in flu activity. The flu is now in Montana, and it is important that everyone 6 months of age and older get vaccinated if they haven’t already done so. CCHD provides flu shots Tuesdays from 8:30-11:30am and Wednesdays through Fridays from 8:30-11:30am and 1-4:30pm. No appointments are necessary, and the cost is $14 for children and $25 for adults. Cash, check, credit and insurance cards are all accepted. If someone is healthy and between 2 and 49 years of age they may be able to get the vaccine through a nasal spray instead of the flu shot which is administered with a needle.
The flu vaccine is the single best way to prevent the flu. “Due to misinformation, parents sometimes think that they are doing the best thing for their child by not getting them immunized,” says Alicia M. Thompson, Health Officer for Cascade County. “However, vaccine preventable diseases are still present; each year children get very ill and die from them. Please take this step to protect yourself, your family and community. Get your flu shot!”
CCHD also continues to recommend frequent and effective hand washing and covering all coughs and sneezes with your sleeve. Anyone who is ill with flu-like symptoms should stay home from school or work to prevent the spread of illness to others. For more information, click here or visit www.flu.gov.