Still time to get your flu shot

Category
Health and Housing

Flu season has started early in Cochise County, but it is not too late to get vaccinated.

 

While the season usually peaks between February and April, the number of laboratory-confirmed cases this year is nine, compared to just one the same time in 2016.

 

Getting vaccinated is still the best way to prevent flu, and Cochise Health & Social Services is reminding local residents to get their shots.

 

Flu shots are available at many physicians’ offices and pharmacies throughout Cochise County. Additionally, Cochise Health & Social Services provides flu shots through its immunization clinics.

 

The cost is $25 for adults and free for children and adults who are uninsured or under insured. Private insurance may be billed for insured children. Cochise Health & Social Services will bill for adults covered by traditional Medicare insurance, but is not contracted to bill Medicare Advantage and private insurance companies for adults. Those patients will be responsible for the $25 cost. However, no patient will be turned away due to a lack of ability to pay.

 

Upcoming walk-in clinics include:

 

December 13

8:30 a.m.-11 a.m.

Sierra Vista Clinic, 4115 E. Foothills Drive (520) 803-3900

 

December 15

8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1 p.m.-4 p.m.

Benson Clinic, 126 W. 5th Street (520) 586-8200

 

December 19

9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.-4 p.m.

Douglas Clinic, 1012 N. G Avenue (520) 805-5600

 

December 20

8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

Bisbee Clinic, 1415 Melody Lane, Building A (520) 432-9400

 

December 29

8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1 p.m.-4 p.m.

Willcox Clinic, 450 S. Haskell Avenue (520) 384-7100

 

You can call your local clinic for possible scheduling alternatives.

 

Another respiratory virus on the rise this year is Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). There is no vaccine for RSV, which mainly impacts children under five (especially infants), older adults, and those with compromised immune systems. RSV in healthy adults usually appears as mild cold-like symptoms, but for children or those with weakened respiratory systems, hospitalization is sometimes necessary. Prevention is the key.

 

The following steps can help prevent flu, RSV, or other infectious illnesses, as well as decreasing the chances of spreading them to someone else:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially before eating, after coughing, sneezing, and after using the toilet – use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze – use disposable tissues and throw them away after use
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick – anyone who has flu or a flu-like illness should stay home from school, work or other activities until at least 24 hours after the fever has gone away without the use of fever-reducing medications
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep them from infecting them
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people

 

Up-to-date flu information is available from the Arizona Department of Health Services at http://www.azdhs.gov/phs/oids/epi/flu/index.htm and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/summary.htm

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