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It's Not Too Late To Vaccinate

The Health Department reminds you that it's not too late to vaccinate against the flu.

January 11, 2007

The North Carolina Division of Public Health is reporting that the state is in the midst of its flu season. Therefore, health officials from the state and Mecklenburg County are reiterating the need for all residents to be vaccinated against influenza (flu) disease.

The North Carolina Division of Public Health is reporting that the state is in the midst of its flu season. Therefore, health officials from the state and Mecklenburg County are reiterating the need for all residents to be vaccinated against influenza (flu) disease.

"There is a misconception that January is too late to get immunized," said Dr.Wynn Mabry, Director of the Mecklenburg County Health Department. "It’s not too late. In fact, if you get immunized now, you can still avoid the worst part of the flu season and protect not only yourself, but also your loved ones as well."

Flu vaccine is still in abundant supply at the Mecklenburg County Health Department. "We are accepting appointments daily as we attempt to vaccinate as many of our county’s residents as possible," said Dr. Mabry.

Getting a flu vaccination is easy. Call the Mecklenburg County Health Department at 704-336-6500 to make an appointment. The cost for the vaccine is $25 and can be paid for by cash, check or charge. The Health Department also accepts Medicare "B" and Medicaid. The vaccine is available at both Health Department locations: 249 Billingsley Road and 2801 Beatties Ford Road.

North Carolina’s flu season usually peaks in mid-February to March. The state monitors flu activity through a sentinel provider network and a hospital emergency department surveillance system (known as NC DETECT). Eighty health providers across the state report the number of patients who are experiencing influenza-like illness (ILI), which is a fever of at least 100 degrees and cough or sore throat. Additionally, 90 hospitals report daily emergency room visits to the state electronically.

Flu vaccinations are recommended for anyone who wants to decrease the risk of getting influenza. While anyone can get the flu, many groups, including people aged 50 and older, children aged 6 months to 5 years, those with chronic illnesses such as heart, lung, kidney disease and diabetes, and pregnant women are at the highest risk for complications. In addition, those in close contact with these high risk persons, such as health care workers, and healthy household contacts and caregivers, are also at increased risk and should be vaccinated.

Each year in the United States, more than 36,000 people die from seasonal influenza. Please take this opportunity to protect yourself and your family. For more information on fighting influenza and many other health topics, visit www.meckhealth.org .




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