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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Atlantic County Public Flu Clinics Begin September 23

In this struggling economy few people can afford to miss work or a paycheck. But seasonal influenza poses a serious risk. The highly contagious respiratory illness afflicts an average of 5-20% of our nation’s population each year resulting in 36,000 annual deaths and 200,000 yearly flu-related hospitalizations.

To help residents protect themselves and their loved ones from seasonal flu the Atlantic County Division of Public Health is once again providing public flu shot clinics for those 18 years and older beginning Friday, September 23 through Thursday, November 10. There is a $15 fee for flu shots, however, there is no out-of-pocket cost for residents with Medicare Part B coverage who present their card at the time of vaccination.

As an added convenience, residents may schedule a flu shot appointment online at www.aclink.org/flu. Appointments are not required; walk-ins will continue to be welcome at all locations.

Flu season can be as unpredictable as the virus, but the highest number of cases are typically reported between October and April. This year’s vaccine will protect against influenza virus strains that research indicates may be most prevalent during the flu season. The vaccine does not contain live flu virus so flu shots cannot cause the flu.

“Although it cannot prevent all cases of the flu, a flu shot is still your best defense against the virus,” stated Public Health Officer Patricia Diamond, “in addition to practicing precautions such as covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands frequently, and cleaning commonly touched items.”

“Because it may take up to two weeks for the antibodies to develop in your body, the sooner you get a shot the better,” she added. “Protection lasts several months to a year.”

Flu symptoms may include fever, headaches, extreme fatigue, chest discomfort, cough, muscle aches and pains. Complications from the virus may include: bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes.

The effects of influenza are especially concerning to adults over age 65, those with chronic medical conditions, women who will be pregnant during flu season, healthcare providers and home caregivers who provide direct patient care. These individuals are strongly urged to receive a flu shot. Parents and guardians of children 6 months to 18 years of age should consult their child's physician.

If you contract the flu drink plenty of liquids, get plenty of rest and contact your healthcare provider.

In addition to the public flu clinics, flu shots will also be administered to walk-ins Monday through Friday beginning September 26 at the Stillwater Building in Northfield, 201 S. Shore Road, 9 AM to 12 noon; and also every Tuesday beginning September 27 in Hammonton at 310 Bellevue Avenue, 10 AM to 12 noon while supplies last.

For a complete schedule of public flu clinics visit www.aclink.org/flu where you may also schedule an appointment and learn more about seasonal flu. For additional information call the Division of Public Health at (609) 645-5933.

 

2016 Public Flu Clinic Schedule

County News

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