Season’s first Flu Case prompts reminder to get immunizations
Influenza has officially shown up in Delaware County, along with signs that increasing numbers of people are getting flu-like illnesses. It is time to get a seasonal flu shot if you haven’t already.
A laboratory test of an ill person confirmed the season’s first reported case of flu in Delaware County this week, said Joyce Richmond R.N., the Delaware General Health District’s Director of Nursing. Meanwhile, the last two weeks have seen an increase in emergency room and urgent care patients complaining of flu-like symptoms locally. Over-the-counter sales of cough and cold medications and throat lozenges in this area have also increased in recent weeks.
The Ohio Department of Health officially describes flu as “sporadic” now, but an early flu season could be coming, Richmond said. “Unlike the cold viruses that are spreading out there, you can do something about the flu. You can protect yourself by getting a flu shot.” Richmond said. “We encourage everyone to get one. It’s time to do it if you haven’t already.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend flu shots for everyone aged six months or older. Flu shots protect the recipient from getting the flu, and protect the community by preventing its spread. Supplies of flu vaccine are ample this season.
The Delaware General Health District Clinic at 3 West Winter Street in downtown Delaware has Quick Flu Clinics scheduled every Wednesday morning from 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon through December. Flu shots also are offered at Adult Walk-In Clinics every weekday from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the same location, and at all regularly scheduled adult and childhood immunization clinics and at “DGHD In Your Neighborhood” locations. Phone the clinic at 740–203-2040 or go to < www.delawarehealth.org > for schedules or appointments.
Delaware General Health District flu clinics offer Fluzone High Dose vaccine to provide extra protection to persons 65 and older, in addition to the regular seasonal flu shot. Also available is Flu Mist nasal spray vaccine for healthy persons aged 2–49.
Pneumonia shots are recommended for persons over 65 who have not received them already, younger persons with chronic health conditions and smokers.
The DGHD accepts most private insurance plans for flu immunizations as well as Medicaid, Medicare and Medicare Managed Care Plans. Flu shots cost $10 for children through age 18 and $20 for adults. Flu Mist costs $10 for children and $30 for adults. A sliding fee scale is available that may reduce the cost.