HUDSON—The Columbia County Health Department reminds residents to get a regular seasonal flu shot.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus that affects the lungs, throat, nose and other parts of the body. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death.
Symptoms of the flu can mimic a cold. To tell the difference, the health department offers the following acronym: FACTS, which stands for Fever; Aches and pains; Cough; Tiredness and fatigue; Sudden onset of symptoms.
Some people develop nausea and vomiting as well, but those symptoms are not as common.
When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the flu is spread through tiny droplets that land in another person’s eyes, nose and mouth.
Sometimes a person can get the flu by touching surfaces that have the virus on it, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
The best way to prevent the flu is by being vaccinated against it. Good health habits like covering one’s mouth and nose while sneezing and coughing and washing one’s hands often and thoroughly can help stop the spread of germs.
In an effort to use its staff and services more efficiently, the health department has reorganized its community flu clinics. Regular seasonal flu vaccine clinics will be for Columbia County residents 19 years and older. Children aged 6 months to 18 years of age will be offered the flu vaccine at the regularly scheduled immunization clinics every Monday and Tuesday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the health department, 325 Columbia Street, first floor. Flu shots for persons 19 or older will be offered at the health department after all the community clinics are finished.
Regular seasonal community flu clinics are:
*Thursday, October 8, Immaculate Conception Church, Route 20, New Lebanon, 9:30 to 11 a.m.
*Tuesday, October 13, Copake Town Hall, 230 Mountain View Road, 9:30 to 11 a.m. for residents of Copake, Hillsdale, Ancram, and people who use the Roe Jan nutrition site
*Tuesday, October 13, Livingston Town Hall, 119 County Route 19, 1 to 2:30 p.m. for residents of Livingston, Germantown and Taghkanic
*Wednesday, October 14, Elks Club, Harry Howard Avenue Hudson, 9 to 11 a.m. for residents of Hudson and Greenport
*Saturday, October 17, Golden Gathering, Columbia-Greene Community College, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., seniors only
*Tuesday October 20, Kinderhook Elks Lodge Route 9H, 10 a.m. to noon for residents of Kinderhook and Stuyvesant
*Wednesday October 21, Philmont Nutrition Site, 93 Main Street, 10 to 11:30 a.m.
*Wednesday October 21, Ghent Town Hall, Route 66, 1 to 2:30 p.m. for residents of Ghent and Chatham
*Wednesday, November 18, Canaan Town Hall, 1647 County Route 5 South, 10:30 a.m. to noon.
The health department will accept Medicare Part B and Blue Shield of North East New York, Senior Whole Health and Today’s Options.
Individuals must bring their cards to the clinics for verification.
All others are expected to pay a $25 administration fee for the flu shot by cash or check only.
A person should talk to their doctor before getting the flu shot if he or she has ever had a serious allergic reaction to eggs or to a previous flu shot or has a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Pneumonia vaccine will also be available at the community clinics to people 65 or older. Medicare Part B or Blue Shield of Northeast NY, Senior Whole Health and Today’s Options insurances only will be accepted for the shots. All others are expected to pay a $45 fee.
Information is available on the county health department website at www.columbiacountyny.com, click on the health box for the home page.
For more information contact the county health department at (518) 828-3358 X 1300.