January 10, 2013

It’s not too late to get a flu shot

Still haven’t had your flu shot? Don’t worry it is not too late to protect yourself this flu season.

The Dare County Department of Public Health (DCDPH) recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. This year’s flu vaccine protects against three viruses that research suggests will be most common. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu.

Influenza activity has been significantly worse this season, with 14 confirmed North Carolina deaths associated with the virus. The Centers for Disease Control have identified that the majority of states in the southeast currently have widespread influenza activity, which includes North Carolina.

While many may be under the assumption that seasonal flu season is close to being over, influenza seasons can last until May. So far this season, most (91 percent) of the influenza viruses that have been analyzed at CDC are like the viruses included in the 2012-2013 influenza vaccine.

“Vaccines are the best form of prevention against the flu. It is not too late to protect yourself,” comments Care County Health Director Anne Thomas, “If you do get sick, remember to stay at home from work or school while you’re sick, cover coughs and sneezes, and most important -- wash your hands.”

If you feel you may have influenza, please contact your physician immediately or visit an urgent care center or your local emergency room. Antiviral treatment may be available for individuals who are sick or at risk of complications.

Both Manteo and Frisco county health department locations  have flu vaccinations available to residents. Appointments are not necessary, and walk-ins are welcome in the Manteo location. Please call for an appointment at the Frisco location.

The immunization is free if you do not have insurance or your insurance does not cover immunizations. Insurance will be filed for individuals with BCBS and/or Medicare.

For more information about the flu or flu vaccination, contact the Dare County Department of Public Health at 252-475-5003 or visit www.flu.gov.
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