Flu shots are recommended for people age 6 months to
18 years, pregnant women, people 50 years of age and older, anyone
with certain chronic medical conditions, and people who live with or
care for those at high risk for complications from the flu.
At the health department, flu shots are $30 and
pneumonia shots will be available for $45.
The flu season typically peaks in February, but
people should get their shots between October and December,
according to Shana Bean, the new emergency response coordinator and
Pandemic Influenza Community Coalition facilitator at the Logan
County Department of Public Health.
Ms. Bean was tapped for the job following the
departure of Molly Jo Lamb, who now works for the Illinois
Department of Public Health.
Bean graduated from Illinois State University in May
with a degree in community health education. While attending ISU,
she did her internship at the Logan County Department of Public
Health, primarily in the health education office but also in the
preparedness office. After graduating, she moved back to Lincoln and
took a job up front as a support services clerk. A month later, her
current position became open.
She has to balance her duties between her roles.
"Iím becoming more familiar with exactly what my role is, but
there's a lot to handle," she said.
In her responsibilities as emergency response
coordinator, Bean coordinates a health department emergency response
team that partners with city and county departments and agencies,
the Logan County Emergency Management Agency, fire departments,
police departments, and the hospital.
The public health-related role of the emergency
response coordinator has many applications. Bean monitored the
recent heavy rains and storms that have come through our area. She
said that with all the floods up north, the concern was having
people get a tetanus shot if needed. Septic runoff and farm chemical
runoff are other public health issues to watch for during flooding,
but Bean said that the conditions havenít been severe enough for her
office to respond here in Logan County.
As facilitator for the Pandemic Influenza Community
Coalition, "I facilitate quarterly meetings and update the committee
on whatís going on with the bird flu throughout the world," says
Bean, adding that they are trying to make the community more aware
of the risk of pandemic flu -- ways to avoid it and ways to prepare.
A watch is also kept on seasonal flu as it
approaches and its progression. The flu is already bad in Australia
now, during their winter season
Many of the common-sense practices that would
prevent the spread of the common flu would also help in the control
of a more serious flu outbreak. The flu coalition works to educate
the public on general flu prevention practices, in addition to
providing information on how to be prepared and how people would be
asked to respond if there is a more serious flu outbreak.
Bean recommends cold and flu prevention standbys --
hand washing, covering your mouth and nose while coughing and
sneezing, not going into work when sick, and if you have to cough or
sneeze in public, do so into the upper sleeve of your shirt.
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One of the challenges of the local Pandemic
Influenza Community Coalition is that it started out with a huge
attendance, but over time it has dwindled, mainly because the threat
of bird flu isnít in the news anymore. Bean is optimistic that the
preparedness group will regain members. "The e-mail list is large,"
she said. "We need to remind people that itís when, not if the next
pandemic will occur."
As for updates on bird flu or avian flu, the number
of cases of the illness is gradually going up. From the time the
local coalition met in June to mid-August, there were two new cases
in Indonesia, both resulting in death. There are still no reported
cases of bird flu in the U.S., and officials are still not seeing
human-to-human mutations of the illness, which could facilitate a
pandemic. The concern remains as to how fast the bird flu would
spread, due to the numbers of people flying on planes and the amount
of international travel. "A lot more deaths are expected," warns
The next Pandemic Influenza Community Coalition
meeting, which is open to public, will be Nov. 13 at 1:30 p.m. at
the health department.
Also in the works for Bean is an effort to get
doctorsí offices and pharmacies to report the number of flu shots
given out every year. These numbers are added to the shots
administered at the health department and can aid in understanding
the percent of the population protected. The type of flu that may be
spreading locally and the effectiveness of the vaccines are also
Bean also handles the Medical Reserve Corps. The
Logan County MRC was established to promote public health and safety
in the Logan County community. The corps is currently recruiting
medical and nonmedical volunteers.
Bean says she is learning a lot and refers to her
supervisor, Mark Hilliard, as "my go-to guy."
Bean and her family have lived in Lincoln since
1993. Her parents, Patricia and Clarence Quint, work at Abraham
Lincoln Memorial Hospital. Patricia works as a registered nurse in
the emergency department and Clarence is a certified registered
nurse anesthetist. Shana has two sisters, Heather Bean and Crystal
Quint, and one brother, Matthew Bean. Heather recently graduated
from Millikin University with a degree in business, and Crystal is a
freshman at Lincoln Community High School. Matthew is currently
attending Heartland Community College and will be at Illinois State
University in the spring to pursue a degree in business.
Shana likes to help others and she enjoys staying
here in Lincoln, close to her family.
[Geoff Ladd, with contributions
Logan County Department
of Public Health]