The St. Lawrence County Department of Public Health is reporting that one case of influenza has been reported in the county.
A five-year-old in the Ogdensburg area has contracted flu type B, according to the department’s Prevent Services Supervisor Laurie B. Maki.
“Flu is starting later here than it did last year,” Maki said. “By this time in 2012 there had already been 20 confirmed cases” in the county, she said.
Even though the flu is spreading, health authorities say it is not too late to get a fu vaccination.
Flu shots are available from your health provider, some drug stores, and at monthly Public Health Department clinics held around the county.
“We have plenty of flu vaccine at Public Health and it is available at all of our immunization clinics,” Maki said. “All of our clinics are by appointment and individuals can call to make an appointment at 386-2325.”
The county immunization clinics are generallyn held on the following schedule, subject to change, especially around holidays., but you can confirm availability when you call for an appointment.
• Canton Office, first Tuesday of the month
• Gouverneur, Cambray Courts, second Monday
• Massena Community Center, second Wednesday
• Ogdensburg, on the third floor at 206 Ford St., second Tuesday
• Potsdam, at the New Hope (Koinonia) Church on Grant Street, usually the third Monday of the month, or, in January and February, the fourth Monday.
All clinics are held in the morning.
A flu shot is $30. The full price list is available at thje Public Health Department web site at http://www.co.st-lawrence.ny.us/Departments/PublicHealth/ImmunizationPro....
Next week, Dec. 8 to 14, is National Influenza Vaccination Week.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Protection publishes information such as “What Everyone Should Know About Seasonal Flu and the Seasonal Flu Vaccine,” which follows:
Seasonal flu is not just a really bad cold. The flu is a contagious illness that affects the nose, throat, lungs and other parts of the body. It can spread quickly from one person to another. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.
The best way to prevent seasonal flu is by getting a flu shot or flu spray vaccination every year. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu. Vaccination should begin as soon as the vaccine is available. The flu vaccine is not approved for use in children younger than 6 months old but their risk of flu complications is higher than for any other child age group. The best way to protect children younger than 6 months is to make sure members of their household and their caregivers are vaccinated.
Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious complications from seasonal flu. Those who live or work with people who are at high risk should also get vaccinated against seasonal influenza.
You can't get flu from getting a flu vaccine!
The flu vaccine does not give you the flu. It stimulates your body to produce antibodies. These antibodies provide protection against infection by flu viruses.
The flu vaccine takes about two weeks after vaccination for the antibodies to provide protection against influenza virus infection. Until then, you are still at risk for getting the flu.
How the virus is spread
Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something - such as a surface or object - with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
Every year in the U.S., on average:
• 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu,
• More than 200,000 people are hospitalized from seasonal flu complication
• About 23,500 (and as high as about 48,000) people die from seasonal flu.
People can take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs, according to the CDC:
• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
• If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
• While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
• Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. If you use a tissue throw it in the trash after you use it.
• Wash your hands (see http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/) often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/preventing.htm#hand-sanitizers).
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
• Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.