(Mason City) – December 2 – 8, 2012 marks National Influenza (flu) Week. Now more than ever, it is imperative to receive your flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that each year 36,000 individuals die from the flu and over a quarter of a million individuals are hospitalized.
Influenza is a serious disease. It is caused by a virus that spreads from infected people to the nose or throat of others. It can cause fever, cough, sore throat, headaches, chills and muscle aches. Anyone can get influenza. Most people are ill for only a few days, but some get so sick they are admitted to the hospital.
These facts are shocking, but prevention is the key to reduce influenza death and hospitalizations. If you haven’t already received a flu shot/mist, the Health Department is providing vaccinations Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM to Noon and 12:30 – 4:00 PM.
The Health Department now files and accepts most major medical insurances, so bring your insurance card if you are going to receive a flu vaccine. If your insurance does not cover the flu vaccine or you are under-insured, the Health Department has the Vaccine for Children Program (VFC) to ensure your health throughout the flu season. To qualify for the VFC program, your child must be 18 years and younger and:
- Have no health insurance coverage.
- Be American Indian or Alaskan Native.
- Be enrolled in Medicaid (Medicaid Greencard, Medicaid HMOs, Medipass Gatekeeper program, and Medicaid as secondary health coverage).
- Be under-insured. This means the child’s health insurance does not cover the cost of immunizations.
There are other preventive tips to make sure you and your family have a healthy flu season:
- Cover your mouth or nose when you cough or sneeze.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Don’t touch your eyes, mouth and nose.
- Stay home when you are sick.
For more information about flu and flu prevention, please call (641) 421-9323 or visit our website at www.cghealth.com.