MADERA COUNTY – Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso is reporting that one person has died in Madera County due to the flu, and encourages everyone to take precautions and get vaccinated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta say that this is one of the worst flu seasons ever. The best protection against the flu is a flu shot.It’s not too late to get your flu shot. Since the flu season is peaking, the Madera County Public Health Department is recommending that all residents get vaccinated immediately. Don’t wait to protect yourself, your family, and your friends!
Flu shots are still available and can be obtained through many private physician offices, pharmacies, or our local health department.
Vaccination is now recommended for everyone over the age of six months. Certain groups of persons are at high risk for complicated influenza and benefit more from the vaccine. These groups are:
- Any person with a chronic medical condition that requires frequent medical attention. Examples include asthma, diabetes, chronic lung disease, chronic liver disease and many others.
- Pregnant women
- Any person who will have contact with an infant less than 6 months of age during the influenza season
- Children under the age of five
- Adults 55 years and older
In addition to getting vaccinated, it’s important to practice hand washing and other good habits. People who are ill should take actions to stop the spread of germs such as:
- While sick, limit contact with others
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue. Those at highest risk, the elderly, pregnant women, infants, or those with other health conditions, who show flu symptoms should contact their physician immediately in order to get the most effective treatment. Below is a handy chart on the differences between a cold and the flu.
Anyone over 12 years of age can get flu shots at the Public Health Department in Madera, Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., and from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Children under 12 years can get their flu shots along with routine immunizations on Wednesdays from 8 to 10:30 am.
There are also special outreach clinics at the Madera Fairgrounds on 1/16 & 1/23 from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., as well as evening clinics on certain Wednesdays. In addition, the Public Health Department will be offering flu vaccines in the Oakhurst office on 1/22 from 2 to 4 p.m., and 1/25 from 9 a.m. to noon. Please contact the office at 675-7893 for more information.
All flu shots are $5, but no one will be refused services if unable to pay.