Free flu clinic set

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 8, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

Cold and flu season is fast approaching. Before the “flu bug” gets you, the Dallas County Health Department wants you to roll up your sleeves.

An Open Flu Clinic will be held two days, Oct. 12 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Oct. 23 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Dallas County Health Department.

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No appointment is needed and there is no charge for service. However, those who carry the Medicare card with the red and blue stripes are encouraged to have their cards with them when the come.

“We want everybody to come get their flu shot,” Ashvin Parikh, assistant area administrator for public health, said.

According to state health officials, there will be no shortage of the influenza vaccine for the 2007-2008 season.

“We anticipate having a sufficient supply of vaccine this season and we encourage you to contact your physician or local health department to be immunized,” Dr. Donald Williamson, state health officer said in a written statement. “On average, 200,000 people are hospitalized and approximately 36,000 people die each year in the United States from complications associated with influenza.”

Annual influenza immunizations are recommended for most people from the age of six months old.

Typical symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches, and extreme fatigue.

Some simple measures that can be followed to aid in the prevention of spreading the flu include covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, washing your hands frequently and staying home while sick.

Though getting a flu vaccination is important, there are some people who should contact their physician beforehand:

& People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs

& People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past

& People who developed Guillain-Barr& syndrome (GBS) within six weeks of getting an influenza vaccine previously

& Children under the age of six months

& People who have a moderate or severe illness with fever. These persons should wait to get vaccinated until their symptoms lessen.