Flu season has arrived and Cochise County Health & Social Services is advising residents to think about getting immunized.
Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness and, at times, can lead to death. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu shot every year.
Cochise Health & Social Services will be offering free flu-shot clinics in the coming weeks, with the first scheduled on Tuesday, October 22, in Tombstone at the Old Fire Station Senior Center, 507 E. Toughnut Street. Immunizations will be given from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and no appointment is necessary.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommends that everyone six months and older get a flu shot each year. Additionally, it is especially important that certain people get vaccinated either because they are at higher risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at higher risk for developing flu-related complications.
People at a higher risk include:
- Children younger than 5 (especially children younger than 2 years old)
- Adults 65 years of age and older
- Pregnant women
- People who have medical conditions including:
- Neurological conditions
- Chronic lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis
- Heart disease such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease
- Blood disorders such as sickle cell disease
- Kidney disorders
- Liver disorders
- Weakened immune system due to disease or medication such as people with HIV or AIDS, cancer, or those on chronic steroids
- People who are morbidly obese
Other people for whom vaccination is especially important include those who live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities, health care workers, and household contacts of persons at higher risk for complications from the flu.
Flu shots are available at many physicians’ offices and pharmacies throughout Cochise County. In addition, flu shots will be administered at all regular Cochise Health and Social Services immunization clinics. For more information visit https://www.cochise.az.gov/health-and-social-services/home or call (520) 432-9400.