Flu season still going strong

Nola Sizemore Staff Writer

December 26, 2013

During the holiday many people visit relatives with small children or those at high risk of complications from flu and that is why it’s important to get a flu vaccine, which can “protect against the flu’s spread and severity” according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) and the Harlan County Health Department.

With flu season typically peaking through January and February, the CHFS says it takes approximately two weeks for the body to develop protective antibodies against the flu following a vaccination.

The CHFS also reports vaccine supplies are considered plentiful at this time, but urges people to call their providers or pharmacies to check on the availability.

To protect yourself from the flu and/or spreading it to others the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Kentucky Department for Public Health urge good health habits such as washing your hands often with soap and warm water, avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth and staying at home from work or school when you’re sick.

Infection with the flu virus can cause fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and body aches. Flu is a very contagious disease caused by the flu virus, which spreads from person to person.

Complications of the flu include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, diabetes and asthma according to the CDC.

For more information on flu, you may contact the Harlan County Health Department at 573-3700 or the Tri-Cities Branch at 606-589-2135.

Flu shots are available at the Harlan County Health Department, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and the Tri-Cities Branch, Monday and Thursday 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on a walk in basis as time permits. The shots are also available at medical facilities throughout Harlan County that include Harlan ARH and Dr. Abdul Dahhan’s office.

“We will bill Medicaid and Medicare Part B. Otherwise, the cost is $28,” said Registered Nurse Bobbie V. Crider, Nursing Supervisor II/Interim Director at the Harlan County Health Department Inc.

Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510, ext. 115, nsizemore@civitasmedia.com