CCHD continues to stress flu prevention measures

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Coconino County Health Department (CCHD) has confirmed a second death in Coconino County related to complications from the H1N1 (swine) flu virus. The individual, a female in her early 50s, resided in Flagstaff.

Arizona is one of 46 States reporting widespread flu activity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most of the flu that is currently circulating is H1N1 flu.

Seasonal flu causes an estimated 36,000 deaths in the United States each year. That number is expected to be higher this flu season due to presence of both seasonal and H1N1 (swine) flu illness.

"Even with the best efforts to prevent the spread of both H1N1 and seasonal flu, the viruses will cause illness. While most illness will be mild, some illness will be severe, and unfortunately in some cases the disease will be fatal," CCHD Director Barbara Worgess said.

The Coconino County Health Department continues to stress important prevention measures. These simple actions can stop the spread of germs and help protect you and others from getting sick:

• Wash your hands frequently during the flu season. This is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs.

• Cover your mouth with your upper sleeve or with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

• Don't share eating utensils, cups, and straws.

• Stay home when you are sick. Stay home from work and keep sick children home from school.

• Get a flu shot when available.

The Health Department has receive a limited supply of H1N1 (Swine) flu vaccine. Initial shipments of the vaccine are reserved for priority high risk groups as follows:

• Pregnant women,

• Children 6 months to 4 years old,

• Children between 5 and 18 with underlying health conditions - neuromuscular disease, diabetes, underlying heart or lung conditions, or suppressed immune system,

• Anyone who lives with or cares for children less than six months old,

• Health care workers with direct patient contact.

The Coconino County Health Department administered 704 vaccinations at the first H1N1 (swine) Flu Vaccination Clinic held Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Flagstaff CCHD clinic.

Additional H1N1 (swine) Flu Clinics are scheduled as follows:

• Williams: Sat., Oct. 31, Williams Elementary Middle School, 601 N. 7th St., 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

• Fredonia: Sat., Oct. 31, Fredonia Elementary School, Multi-Purpose Room, 221 E. Hortt St., 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

• Page: Sat., Nov. 7, Lake View Elementary Gym, 1801 N. Navajo, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

• Mon., Wed., Fri., CCHD Clinics, Coconino County Health Department, 2625 N. King Street, Flagstaff, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

All clinics are subject to change due to vaccine availability. Appointments are required.

As additional H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine is received, the vaccine will be made available to a wider risk groups and then, if supplies allow, to the general public. There is no out-of-pocket cost for H1N1 (swine) flu vaccinations. Please bring your Medicare, AHCCCS, or insurance card if you are covered.

Due to delivery delays and high demand, seasonal flu vaccine is not currently available. Additional flu vaccination clinics will be scheduled as vaccine supplies allow.

Pneumonia vaccinations are available for a cost of $30. Pneumonia vaccinations are recommended for individuals age 65 and older and for some high risk groups.

Please check www.coconino.az.gov/health for updated clinic schedules or call the CCHD Flu Information Line at (928) 679-7300, toll-free at 1-877-679-7272, for information.

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