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Flu Widespread, Vaccines Available At Monroe County Public Health Clinic
Updated January 24, 2018 9:41 AM | Filed under: Health
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(BLOOMINGTON) - The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the flu is widespread across all 50 states.

Different strains of influenza circulate each year. This year, influenza A -- specifically H3N2 -- is especially prevalent. In years with predominant H3 viruses, the country tends to see more serious cases of the flu, as well as decreased vaccine effectiveness, resulting in more total infections and hospitalizations. Young children and elderly adults are especially at risk.

The first and most important step to protection against flu viruses is being vaccinated. The CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, though getting vaccinated later can still be beneficial, even into January or later. Flu activity typically peaks between December and February and can last as late as May. It typically takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against the flu. Even if only partially effective, this season's flu vaccine can lessen severity of symptoms if someone gets sick. Flu vaccination can prevent flu illnesses, doctor's visits, and missed work and school, as well as flu-related hospitalizations.

Flu vaccines are available through your doctor, and most health insurance plans cover the cost of the vaccine. The Monroe County Public Health Clinic at 333 East Miller Drive offers flu vaccinations for children and adults. Children ages 6 months to 18 years can receive the vaccine for free while adults pay $5.00, but the clinic will not turn people away if they cannot pay or are uninsured. The Monroe County Public Health Clinic has walk-in hours to get the flu shot every Wednesday from 8:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m., or by appointment on Monday and Friday from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. To make an appointment, please call the clinic at 812-353-3244.

For questions or more information regarding the flu and vaccinations, please contact Nancy Woolery at 812-349-3851.

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