TROY — With flu season beginning, Miami County Public Health (MCPH) has begun giving vaccinations for the seasonal flu.
According to MCPH, the seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to stay healthy this flu season. They strongly recommend for everyone aged 6 months and older to get vaccinated.
“It’s important to not wait to get your flu shot, take the time now to protect yourself before flu season” said Dennis Propes, health commissioner for Miami County Public Health.
MCPH offers flu vaccinations for all ages over 6 months. This year the organization will not offer the nasal flu mist, following a decision by the Centers for Disease Control to withdraw its recommendation for the product.
MCPH’s Nate Bednar said the organization has tried to offer a range of hours for residents to stop in for their flu shots.
Flu clinic hours are as follows:
• For adults — Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• For children — Tuesdays from 8-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. and Thursdays from 8-11 a.m.
• MCPH also offers an evening clinic the first Thursday of each month 4-6:30 p.m.
The cost for flu shots ranges from $17 to $59, Bednar added. Medicare, Medicaid and most insurances are accepted.
In 2015, MCPH administered 475 flu shots, Bednar said. So far, 2016 has been a typical flu season, he added, and the organization expects similar numbers this year.
“Obviously we encourage everybody to go out and get a flu shot,” he said.
In addition to getting vaccinated, MCPH offers a few common sense precautions everyone can take to prevent the spread of the flu such as:
• Avoid close contact with sick people.
• If you or your child gets sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone.
• While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand rub.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs that can cause flu.
According to the CDC, the severity of the flu season depends on a number of factors including the type of flu virus, the timing of the season, how well the vaccine is protecting against the flu, and how many people get vaccinated. While the numbers vary, in the United States millions of people are sickened, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu every year.
For more information, call MCPH at (937) 537-3518, or visit www.miamicountyhealth.net.