Flu shot clinic planned Oct. 14

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By The Staff

Protect Yourself and Your Family with the Best Weapon Against Seasonal Influenza: An Annual Flu Vaccine.

Even with the emergence of swine flu (H1N1) this year, seasonal influenza is still a concern. Seasonal influenza is a serious disease that results in 36,000 deaths and more than 200,000 hospitalizations every year on average. Fortunately, there is a way to protect yourself and those you love from the seasonal flu-getting an annual seasonal flu vaccine.

The Health Department will offer the seasonal flu vaccine at four off-site clinics. This vaccine does not protect against swine flu. The clinics are open to the public and no appointment is necessary. Cost for the vaccine is $25. Medicare and Medicaid will be accepted. Residents of Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton counties will not be turned away due to inability to pay. The Grant County clinic will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Grant County Public Library.

For more information, call 859-392-0678.

All clinics will be open from 4 to 7 p.m. Dates and locations are as follows:

* Monday, October 12, 2009, at First Baptist Church of Walton, 47 S. Main St., Walton, Ky.

* Tuesday, October 13, 2009, at the Erlanger branch of the Kenton County Public Library, 401 Kenton Lands Road, Erlanger, Ky.

* Wednesday, October 14, 2009, at the Grant County Public Library, 201 Barnes Road, Williamstown, Ky.

* Thursday, October 15, 2009, at the First Baptist Church of Cold Spring, 4410 Alexandria Pike, Cold Spring, Ky.

“While the swine flu virus has been the focus of attention since the spring, it is important that we do not forget the risks posed by seasonal influenza viruses,” said Steven R. Katkowsky, M.D., District Director of Health. “We expect that seasonal flu viruses will circulate this season along with swine flu. Thus, it is important to get a seasonal flu shot as soon as you are able to. We expect the swine flu vaccine to be available later in the year.”

To encourage increased vaccination for children, the Health Department is offering pediatric and preservative-free doses of the seasonal flu vaccine.

Flu vaccination is also strongly recommended for those who are at high-risk of developing complications from the flu, including:

* People over age 65, especially those who have an underlying medical condition, such as heart disease or diabetes, or who have weakened immune systems

* Residents of long-term care facilities

* People with an underlying medical condition

* Pregnant women

* Health-care workers who have direct patient contact

* Family members of and out-of-home caregivers for children less than 6 months old

During the 2008-2009 flu season (October 2008-September 2009), 842 cases of flu were reported from the Northern Kentucky counties of Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton.

This year’s seasonal flu vaccine is effective against viruses most likely to cause the seasonal flu, but not swine flu.

The classic symptoms of influenza include sudden onset of chills, fever, headache, muscle aches, sore throat, dry cough and extreme fatigue. Children who develop flu symptoms should not be treated with aspirin or aspirin-containing medications, as it can lead to Reye’s Syndrome.

For more information on the seasonal and swine flu, please call the Health Department’s flu information line at 859.392.0678 or visit http://www.nkyhealth.org