Free Shot Clinic a Success, Vaccines Still Available

Last Thursday, nearly 1,000 people were vaccinated against the flu in just four hours at the Winnemucca Convention Center.

The free flu clinic took place by order of Dr. Tracey D. Green, the State of Nevada's chief health officer, who called for the emergency distribution of flu vaccine the day after Christmas.

In all, 945 people received a free flu shot from a small army of nurses and EMS crew members from Humboldt General Hospital; other volunteers from the state and the community helped crowds move through the convention center distribution.

The state sent 1,700 vaccinations for the clinic, including 300 for pediatric patients ages 6 to 36 months.

Remaining vaccines were taken to the office of the Community Health Nurse, located at the corner of Haskell and Mizpah streets, where they will are available for $20 each.

Children age 8 and under who received a flu shot for the first time need to have a follow-up shot in 30 days.

According to the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health, H1N1 is the predominant flu strain this season and the flu shot covers that along with three other flu strains.

The Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health also confirms there have been recent deaths in Nevada and nationwide associated with severe complications of the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said this flu season is typical in that flu activity is currently low in the United States.

However, the incidence of cases in Nevada and in the United States is likely to peak in February, so anyone who has not yet received a flu vaccine should do so now.

Flu is a serious illness that causes approximately 200,000 people to be hospitalized each year.

"The best precautions you can take are getting a flu shot, being conscientious about hand washing, and if you are ill, limiting your contact with others as much as possible," said Tracey D. Green, MD, Chief Medical Officer.

The following measures will help prevent local residents from contracting or spreading the disease.

Additionally, the CDC recommends that people not travel while they are ill. People with flu-like symptoms should wait to travel until at least 24 hours after their fever has subsided without the use of fever-lowering medications.

Those who become ill while traveling should postpone traveling home until they are well.

To contact the office of the Humboldt County Community Health Nurse, please call (775) 623-6575.

For more information about seasonal flu, visit www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm. For more information about the Division of Public and Behavioral Health, please visit: http://health.nv.gov.

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