FamilyHealth Medical Clinics have established specific dates and times for its fall seasonal flu clinics. Specific dates at Northfield, Lonsdale, Elko New Market, Lakeville or Farmington are posted on the respective clinic websites. Go to www.familyhealthclinics.org for information for the clinic nearest you.
A flu vaccination is the first and best way to protect against getting this year’s seasonal influenza, according to public health officials.
The Centers for Disease Control and the Minnesota Department of Health are recommending anyone six months or older be vaccinated. Those most at risk for becoming seriously ill from the flu include:
- people age 65 and older
- young children
- pregnant women
- people with certain health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.
Influenza is a contagious respiratory disease that can be prevented by immunization. Flu is caused by a virus that attacks the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death. Influenza symptoms come on quickly in the form of fever, dry cough, sore throat, headache, extreme tiredness, stuffed-up nose, and body aches. These symptoms can be severe and put you in bed for several days.
FamilyHealth Medical Clinics offers both a flu mist vaccine and an injected vaccine.
Flu mist protects against four strains of influenza. It is appropriate for healthy, non pregnant persons aged 2 through 49 years. This vaccine is a non needle vaccine administered via the nasal passages. The injectible vaccine protects against three strains of the flu
Other preventive steps to protect you from the flu are:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
If you have questions, please call your medical provider or go to Centers for Disease Control’s website: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/ or the Minnesota Department of Health’s website: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/flu/index.html.