UCHD, Protecting Your Health.

 

Thursday, 07 August 2014 01:20

Flu Activity Update

Flu Update for Union County, Ohio - As of Feb. 14, 2018

Union County has had 39 influenza-associated hospitalizations this flu season. Union County residents hospitalized with the flu this season have ranged in age from 28 through 93 years with an average age of 68. Flu activity is still widespread in Ohio and all of the continental US. Flu activity in Ohio did decrease during the end of January, but is still above what we typically see. It is still too early to determine if flu season has truly peaked and will continue to decline. 

 

Flu Symptoms

Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

* It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Flu Complications

Most people who get influenza will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of the flu, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death.

Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections are examples of complications from flu. The flu can make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may experience worsening of this condition that is triggered by the flu.

People at High Risk from Flu

Anyone can get the flu (even healthy people), and serious problems related to the flu can happen at any age, but some people are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and young children.

What are the emergency warning signs of flu sickness?

In children

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

In adults

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough

In addition to the signs above, get medical help right away for any infant who has any of these signs:

  • Being unable to eat
  • Has trouble breathing
  • Has no tears when crying
  • Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal
  • Has trouble breathing
  • Has no tears when crying
  • Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal

Prevent the Flu in 3 Steps

Step One: Get a flu shot

  • CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
  • While there are many different flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the viruses that research suggests will be most common. (See Vaccine Virus Selection for this season’s vaccine composition.)
  • Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.
  • Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year before flu activity begins in their community. CDC recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October, if possible. Learn more about vaccine timing.
  • Vaccination of high risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness.
  • People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.
  • Vaccination also is important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to them.
  • Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for infants should be vaccinated instead.

Step 2: TAKE EVERYDAY PREVENTATIVE ACTIONS TO STOP THE SPREAD OF GERMS.

  • Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs like this mother teaching her young child to wash hands.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • If you are sick with flu symptoms, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • 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. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

STEP 3: TAKE FLU ANTIVIRAL DURGS IF YOUR DOCTOR PRESCRIBES THEM.

  • Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them like this older woman listening to her doctor.
  • If you get the flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat your illness.
  • Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics. They are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available over-the-counter.
  • Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For people with high risk factors[702 KB, 2 Pages], treatment with an antiviral drug can mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.
  • Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick, but starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high risk factor or is very sick from the flu. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking this drug.
  • Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

 

 

 

 

 

Published in IDRS News
Saturday, 27 August 2011 01:36

Flu Clinics

It's not too late to get a flu shot. Getting a flu shot is still the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu. Flu shots are available at the Union County Heatlh Department. No one is turned away for inability to pay and most insurances are accepted. We have plenty of vaccine for all ages, including young children. Please call (937) 642-2053 today to make an appointment.

SPECIAL FLU CLINICS

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays
8am-Noon
Union County Health Dept, 940 London Ave, Ste 1100, Marysville  

Appointments are preferred, but we will also try to accomodate walk-ins during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8am - 4pm. All are welcome (babies, children, adults, and pregnant women). Most insurance accepted and no one turned away for inability to pay. Please call (937) 642-2053 if you need a flu shot outside these hours and we will do our best to accommodate your needs. 

 

 Flu Vaccines Available at Flu Clinics:

  • Quadrivalent Flu Shot (protects against four strains of flu, approved for ages 6 mos & older)
  • High Dose Flu Shot (approved for ages 65 yrs. & older)

 

Cost for Flu Shots:

We accept most private insurance, medicaid and medicare. No one is turned away for inability to pay and a sliding fee scale is available. 

 

Flu Activity in Central Ohio:

Click here to learn about flu activity in Central Ohio. 

 

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Flu FAQ

Q. Does this year’s flu shot protect against H1N1?
Q. What flu vaccines are available?
Q. What is the difference between vaccines?
Q. Who is recommended for flu vaccination this year?
Q. Who CANNOT get a flu vaccination?
Q. Does flu vaccine contain mercury?
Q. Will the flu shot make me sick?
Q. What about people who get a flu vaccine and still get sick with flu-like symptoms?

 

Q. Does this year’s flu shot protect against H1N1?

            Yes. This year’s flu shot protects against H1N1 and 3 other flu viruses.

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Q. What flu vaccines are available?

  • Regular Flu Shot (Intramuscular): approved for people ages 6 months and older.
  • High Dose Flu Shot: approved for people ages 65 and older.
  • FluMist Nasal Spray IS NOT AVAILABLE IN THE UNITED STATES

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Q. What is the difference between vaccines?

  • Regular Flu Shot (Intramuscular):The regular flu shot contains killed flu viruses. It is injected into the muscle. It is approved for people ages 6 months and older.
  • High Dose Flu Shot: High Dose flu vaccine contains killed flu viruses. It is injected into the muscle. High Dose flu vaccine contains 4 times the amount of antigen as the regular flu shot. Antigen is the part of the flu vaccine that prompts the body to make antibodies. Additional antigen is intended to create a stronger immune response. It is approved for people ages 65 and older.

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Q. Who is recommended for flu vaccination this year?

CDC recommends all people ages 6 months and older get a flu vaccination. Vaccination is the single best way to protect yourself from the flu. While flu vaccination is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older, some are especially at high risk for severe complications from the flu:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
    • Healthcare workers
    • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
    • Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age

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Q. Who CANNOT get a flu vaccination?

  • People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.
  • People who have had a severe reaction to a flu vaccination.
  • People who develop Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting a flu vaccine.
  • Children younger than 6 months of age (no flu vaccine is approved for this age group).
  • People who have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (wait until recovered to get vaccinated)

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Q. Does flu vaccine contain mercury?

Single dose pre-filled syringes of flu vaccine do not contain the mercury preservative thimerosal. Only multi-dose vials of vaccine contain a mercury preservative. Most of the vaccine UCHD uses is single dose pre-filled syringe without preservatives. We do use some multi-dose vials of vaccine. Please talk to our staff prior to getting vaccinated if you have any questions or concerns. 

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Q. Will the flu shot make me sick?

No, a flu shot cannot cause the flu. The viruses contained in flu shots are inactivated (killed), which means they cannot cause infection. Flu vaccine manufacturers kill the viruses used in the flu shot during the process of making vaccine, and batches of flu vaccine are tested to make sure they are safe.

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Q. What about people who get a flu vaccine and still get sick with flu-like symptoms?

There are several reasons why someone might get flu-like symptoms even after they have been vaccinated against the flu.

  1. People may be exposed to a flu virus shortly before getting vaccinated or during the two-week period that it takes the body to gain protection after getting vaccinated. This exposure may result in a person becoming ill with flu before the vaccine begins to protect them.
  2. People may become ill from other (non-flu) viruses that circulate during the flu season, which can also cause flu-like symptoms (such as rhinovirus).
  3. A person may be exposed to a flu virus that is not included in the flu vaccine. There are many different influenza viruses that circulate every year. The flu shot protects against the 3 viruses that research suggests will be most common. Unfortunately, some people can remain unprotected from flu despite getting the vaccine. This is more likely to occur among people that have weakened immune systems. However, even among people with weakened immune systems, the flu vaccine can still help prevent influenza complications.

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Published in Clinics
Thursday, 25 August 2011 03:06

Influenza

For information on getting a flu vaccination from the Union County Health Department, click here.

 

Published in Vaccines Offered