POINT PLEASANT — The somewhat sudden climate change that Hurricane Sandy brought to Mason County may be the last straw for those still holding out on getting their flu shots for the 2012-13 flu season, which are still available at the Mason County Health Department.
Over the past month, health department staff members have been traveling across Mason County holding flu shot clinics and it was reported that both injectable and mist vaccinations have been provided to over 1,700 residents at no cost.
The health department will continue to offer flu vaccinations from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on a weekday basis at the health department. The vaccinations will be at no cost for adults and children as long as the supply is available. It was added that the flu vaccine is also available from one’s physician or at a local pharmacy.
The health department encourages all who are six months of age or older to receive the vaccine. The health department staff also noted it typically takes around two weeks for the vaccine to provide optimal protection from the flu, which commonly spreads by coughing, sneezing, and touching unwashed hands during the months of October through late February and possibly into March.
As previously reported, the yearly flu vaccines are updated in order to help fight the type of flu strain that circulated in the previous flu season, and this year’s vaccine contains a new virus strain.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu can cause mild to severe illness and can, at times, lead to death. It was also stated the flu comes on suddenly and symptoms can include fever or feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue. Other symptoms common among children can also include vomiting and diarrhea.
Also, while most will recover from the flu in a few days to two weeks, the CDC stated the flu can also develop into other complications, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and a sinus and ear infections. It was also noted that not all who have the flu will experience a fever as well.
The CDC also noted those who are at a higher risk of developing complications from the flu, including people 65 years and older, people with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and young children.
For more information, contact the Mason County Health Department at 304-675-3050.