Flu season arrives in Coconino County

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Last week, Coconino County Health Department (CCHD) officials announced the first confirmed case of influenza in Coconino County, which marks the beginning of the 2010-2011 flu season in Coconino County. The individual is from Flagstaff.

"As families, friends and co-workers gather for holiday events it is easy to pass on a virus such as the flu. Getting a flu shot will protect you from illness and will also help protect others, including children who are too young to receive their flu shot," said Barbara Worgess, CCHD Chief Health Officer. "Since flu activity typically does not reach its peak until late January or February and influenza activity can occur as late as May, it's still a good time to get a flu shot."

The CCHD Clinic, located at 2625 N. King Street in Flagstaff, is offering flu shots on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 8 and 11:30 a.m. and between 1 and 4 p.m. Appointments are required. Pneumonia vaccinations are recommended for adults 65 years of age or older and people with certain medical conditions.

The cost for a flu shot is $25 for adults and $15 for children aged 18 and under. Pneumonia vaccinations are available for $30. As a courtesy, the Coconino County Health Department will bill your insurance company. Please check with your insurance provider to determine your current coverage. Bring your insurance card with you. No one will be denied service due to inability to pay.

This year, the seasonal flu vaccine also protects against the H1N1 flu virus.

In addition to getting a flu shot, good health habits will help you stay well. 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.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

• Avoid contact with people who are sick.

• Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and wash your hands afterwards. If you don't have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve.

• Stay home when you are sick.

For information regarding additional clinics or to schedule an appointment, please call the Coconino County Health Department at (928) 679-7300 or toll-free at 1-877-679-7272 or visit www.coconino.az.gov/health.

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