County ready to give residents shot in the arm
Second Tuesday of the month, 4 p.m.-6 p.m., Public Health Department, 240 N. Villa Ave.
Fourth Tuesday of the month, 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m., Public Health Department, 240 N. Villa Ave.
The first Tuesday of the month, 4 p.m.-6 p.m., Parkside Building, 345 Yolo St.
Third Tuesday of the month, 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m., Parkside Building, 345 Yolo St.
Glenn County still has plenty of flu vaccine available for residents despite reported shortages elsewhere in the nation.
Grinnell Norton of the County's Health Services Agency said no special clinics have been planned at this point, but flu shots can be received at the county's weekly vaccination clinics.
Her agency also has done some outreach with larger employers like Johns-Manville in Willows to do vaccinations, Norton said.
Glenn County has not received any reports of a flu outbreak here, she added, but has asked health care providers to report significant increases in the virus.
"We have both the injectible vaccine and flu mist," Norton said, along with flu vaccine for pregnant women.
These shots are given at no charge.
Anyone six months or older should get a flu shot, health officials said.
In the past, the county has focused on senior citizens and those with cronic illnesses when receiving a partial flu vaccine shipment, Norton said, but this year it is available to everybody.
To avoid getting the flu, people should wash their hands frequently and cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze, she said.
Those with chronic conditions should also discuss the flu with their healthcare professionals as anti-viral medications are available, Norton said.
However, if you come down with the flu, stay home.
"By going out and exposing other people, that is what spreads it," Norton said.
Also stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, eat well and get a good rest when battling this virus.
Experts at the US Centers for Disease Control report the bottomline is it's flu season.
CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a Friday press briefing his agency continues to see influenza activity elevated in most of the United States.
It may be decreasing in some areas, he said, but trends are hard to predict over the holiday season.
Declines in outbreaks may indicate the disease level has peaked in some areas and is coming down, Frieden said. But next week, they may be up again.
Influenza activity ebbs and flows during flu season and tends to spread across the country, he added.
"It also has some variability even within states and communities," Frieden said. "So just because it's widespread in one city or state doesn't mean it will be throughout that area."
However, most of the country has influenza cases with the far West Coast being the exception, he said.
The CDC recommends getting flu shots as a means of keeping people from becoming sick, officials said.
Medical professionals also predict flu season could continue for several more weeks.
During the past 10 flu seasons, visits to doctors remained at or above the baseline for an average of 12 consecutive weeks. The proportion of visits to doctors for influenza-like illness has been elevated nationally for five consecutive weeks, the CDC reported.
Locally, Glenn County Health officials say surveys of pharmacies in the county indicate Walgreens and CVS have flu vaccine available as of Friday.
As of Jan. 4, more than 128 million doses of influenza vaccine had been distributed to vaccine providers in the US for the 2012-2013 season. However, not all of these doses have been administered. About 135 million doses were anticipated to be available in the US market, officials added.