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Free vaccine clinic available to a few today

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Health Department announces H1N1 shot distribution

By Daniel Crum

Community Health Educator

The LaRue County Health Department will hold an H1N1 flu clinic 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, for target populations only.

The flu clinic will provide free H1N1 vaccines to pregnant women; people who live with or provide care for infants age 6 months or younger; health care and emergency medical services workers who have direct patient contact; children and young adults who are 6 months to 24 years old; and people age 25 to 64 years old who have underlying medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, kidney disease or heart disease that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications.

For adults, only one dose of H1N1 vaccine is necessary to protect against this flu. Children younger than 10 will require two doses for protection. Children under 6 months cannot get the H1N1 flu vaccine.

The H1N1 flu clinic will be by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, contact the LaRue County Health Department at (270) 358-3844.

Symptoms

The H1N1 flu is similar to the ordinary seasonal flu. It is spread through droplets that enter the air by the coughing or sneezing of infected people. Symptoms include fever, chills, coughing, headache, sore throat, sneezing and muscle aches. Some people also experience vomiting and diarrhea.

As of Aug. 1, the most recent data available, there have been three confirmed cases of H1N1 in LaRue County according to the State Public Health Laboratory.

Although the number of people hospitalized with a flu-like illness is unusually high for this time of year, the amount of hospitalization due to H1N1 flu is about the same as for seasonal flu, in all age groups. Treatment of H1N1 flu is also the same as for seasonal flu.

The CDC recommends a three-pronged approach to fighting the flu, which applies to both seasonal flu and the H1N1 flu virus:

•Get vaccinated; this is the best way to avoid getting and spreading the flu.

•Cover your mouth when you cough, wash your hands frequently and stay home when you are sick until you have been free of fever for 24 hours without the help of medication.

•Use anti-viral medications if you are sick with the flu and if your doctor recommends them.