Wednesday, December 03, 2008
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Next week is National Influenza Vaccination Week

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[December 03, 2008]  The week of Dec. 8 has been designated as National Influenza Vaccination Week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Getting vaccinated is the single best way for people to protect not only themselves against flu, but their loved ones as well," said Dr. Julie Gerberding, CDC director. "National interest in getting a flu vaccination has traditionally tapered off after Thanksgiving. Since flu activity typically does not peak until February or later, December is also a good time to be vaccinated."

"Vaccinations are recommended for anyone who wants to decrease the risk of influenza," said Margie Harris, director of nursing at the Logan County Department of Public Health.

"While anyone can get influenza -- and the infection can be severe -- many groups, including people aged 50 years or more, those with chronic illness (heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes), and pregnant women, are at highest risk for complications," Harris said. "In addition, those in close contact with these high-risk persons, such as health care personnel, and healthy household contacts and caregivers of high-risk persons, are also at increased risk and should get vaccinated.


"For the first time, CDC is also recommending all children aged 6 months to 18 years be vaccinated, since they are also considered at risk for complications of flu. Previously, the recommendation was limited to children aged 6 months to 5 years, who are nearly as likely to be hospitalized for complications due to flu as those aged 65 years and older."

The health department received official notification of the first lab-confirmed case of influenza in Logan County on Nov. 5.

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"This is the earliest lab-confirmed case of the flu in several years," according to Mary Anderson, chief communicable disease nurse at the health department. "Last year the first lab-confirmed case was not reported until Dec. 12, and in 2006 the first cases were reported during the last week of December."

Flu vaccine is available at the health department, 109 Third St., Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. The cost is for $30 for adults, $18 for children 6 months to 18 years and free for those with a medical card.

Visit for more information on the influenza virus, the importance of vaccinating children and how you can "Stop the Spread."

[Text from file received from the Logan County Department of Public Health]

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