(Accomac, Va.) On Tuesday, November 1, the Emergency Preparedness and Response team and two public health nurses from the Eastern Shore Health District (ESHD) travelled by boat to Tangier Island to provide free seasonal influenza vaccinations to residents at Riverside Tangier David B. Nichols Health Center. A limited supply of free influenza vaccine was provided to the district from the Virginia Department of Health Emergency Preparedness and Response program.
Only one additional free flu clinic is scheduled by the health district this year. It will be held on Monday, November 28 from 5:00pm – 7:00pm while supplies last at the Eastern Shore YMCA in Onley, Virginia. The free flu vaccine is for anyone 3 years of age and older.
Influenza is commonly referred to as the “flu”. It is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. The flu can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Influenza can infect persons of all ages. The flu can be especially serious for babies, children, pregnant women, adults 65 years and older, people with certain long-term medical conditions (e.g., lung disease, heart disease, cancer, or diabetes), or those with weak immune systems. However, even healthy people can get the flu and should protect themselves by getting the flu vaccine every year. Symptoms of flu may include fever (though not everyone with flu will have a fever), cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, fatigue (tiredness), chills, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. Symptoms usually appear one to threeays after exposure. Although most people are ill for less than a week, some people have complications and may need to be hospitalized.
The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine every year. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/whoshouldvax.htm
Accomack and Northampton Health Departments offer regular influenza vaccinations by appointment. To schedule an appointment call Accomack Health Department at 757-787-5880 or Northampton Health Department at 757-442-6228.
For more information about the 2016-2017 Influenza Season, visit http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/