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Clinics to curb outbreaks

Flu outbreaks can occur as early as October and affect the nose, throat and lungs, causing mild to severe illness or even death if left unchecked, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site.

Health officials say the best way to prevent the contagious respiratory illness is to get an annual flu vaccine.

In collaboration with Dallas County Emergency Management and other local organizations, the Dallas County Health Department will hold a free drive-thru flu clinic on Sept. 21 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Bloch Park, located at 108 W. Dallas Ave. Residents can receive an influenza shot by qualified nurses without ever having to leave their vehicles.

“In addition to providing a valuable health service, the clinic will serve as a real time exercise that demonstrates established emergency protocols for any future event occurrence that would require mass vaccination,” Alabama Strategic Alliance for Health program communities coordinator Stacey Adams said.

The CDC recommends flu vaccination for anyone six months and older. People age 65 and older are at a high risk for the flu.

“In addition to getting a flu shot, the public is reminded to follow basic infection control measures which include covering the mouth when coughing and frequent hand washing,” Adams said.

Adams said flu outbreaks generally occur in Alabama from November to March. Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, headache and fatigue.

“For most people the flu only lasts a few days but for others it can lead to pneumonia and breathing problems,” Adams said.

“It can cause high fever and seizures … in children.”

Adams said Medicare and state employees and dependents covered by SETB or PEEHIP (state employee or teacher) should present their cards at registration.

For more information about the immunization clinic, call 874-2550.

Vaughan Community Health Services will hold a free health screening at the Selma-Dallas County Public Library from 9 a.m. to noon until Thursday, Sept. 15.

Tests will include blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose and weight.
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