Mahaska Health Partnership Still Offering Flu Vaccines
MAHASKA COUNTY – An influenza-related death in a healthy Iowa child (0 to 17 years of age) has been reported by the Iowa Department of Public Health. IDPH has also been notified of several probable adult deaths related to influenza. Mahaska Health Partnership still has flu vaccines available for anyone who has not received one.
The flu is a respiratory illness caused by viruses. The flu comes on suddenly and symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches. Illness typically lasts two to seven days. Influenza may cause severe illness or even death.
According to the IDPH, it is especially important for children to be vaccinated this year, as this year’s most common influenza strain (H1N1), is hitting children particularly hard.
“It’s not too late to get vaccinated and we have plenty of supply,” said MHP Public Health Coordinator Patty Malloy. “The peak of flu season in Iowa is typically mid- February, so I strongly encourage anyone who has not received their vaccine to get one immediately.
“It is very important to make sure that both adults and children get vaccinated to help prevent the spread of the flu. The flu shot protects against the H1N1 flu, so families can rest assured that children who received the vaccine are protected from this particularly dangerous strain.”
All Iowans over 6 months of age should receive a flu vaccine every year. While vaccination is the best defense against influenza, personal actions also help prevent the spread of illness. Remember the 3Cs:
Cover your coughs and sneezes
Clean your hands frequently
Contain germs by staying home when ill
MHP Public Health as well as primary care providers can give the flu vaccine. Public Health has walk-in flu clinics each Monday from 8:00 am – noon and Thursday from
1:00 – 4:00 pm through the end of March. Appointments are available calling 673.3257. At Public Health, vaccines cost $20.
“The flu shot is an inactivated flu vaccine and does not contain any live influenza virus,” shared Malloy. “Since the virus is not active, anyone over the age of 6 months can receive the vaccine, including individuals with chronic medical conditions. The vaccine is extremely safe, and minor side effects far outweigh the risks associated with the flu. By getting vaccinated now, your body will have time to build up necessary antibodies before the peak of flu season in our state.”
Mahaska Health Partnership, located in Oskaloosa, is a non-profit health system accredited by the Joint Commission. It is guided by its mission to provide exceptional customer service and health improvement, linking the science of medicine with the humanity of compassionate care. For more information about how Mahaska Health Partnership is making healthcare personal, visit www.mahaskahealth.org.