Health Officials Say Get Flu Shot

As the flu season creeps in, state health officials are urging everyone older than six months to get vaccinated.

Kim Deti of the Wyoming Department of health says it's safe and is the single most effective way people can ward-off the sickness.

Health officials describe the flu as a respiratory illness that's caused by a virus, which shows symptoms of fever, headache, soar throat, runny or stuffy nose, aching muscles, dry cough and extreme exhaustion.

So far, only a handful of cases have been reported at the state level, but health officials are bracing for the hit, based on last year's numbers. There were 14 seasonal influenza-associated deaths in the state, which was the highest number of deaths linked to the flu reported in the past 10 years.

The official flu season starts this month and runs through May. Last year's highest numbers of cases were reported in mid- to late-December. In years past, the flu season peaked in February or March.

To get ahead of the game, the local public health office has been running flu vaccination clinics all month and will continue this week on Thursday, from 8-10 in the morning at the Story Women's Club and from 1:15-3:15 in the afternoon at the Whitney Building of Sheridan College.

They continue next week, on Tuesday morning, from 9-10:30 at Clearmont Schools, and from 11-12 at Arvada Schools. The vaccine is not free, but available at a reduced cost of $30.

State health officials say it's impossible to get the flu from the vaccine, but if you're exposed before the shot takes effect, which is about two weeks, you could still get sick.

To protect yourself and others, the drill still stands, cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve or a tissue when sneezing or coughing, wash your hands frequently, and stay home if you're sick.

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