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Health Department prepping for flu season

Flu season is right around the corner, and the Butler County Health Department is ready for the fight.

On Sept 27 and Oct. 6, the health department is going to offer walk-in clinics from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. However, on Oct. 25, from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m., the health department will be offering a drive-through clinic where patients can receive a flu shot inside his or her vehicle.

“We’re going to have people set up, and someone who might be elderly in a car that can’t get out, we’re going have a team come in,” office manager Teresa Compton said. “They’ll do the paperwork and the nurses will give them a shot. It’s an easy in and out.”

According to the Morbidity and Morality Weekly Report from the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, routine annual influenza vaccinations are recommended for anyone older than six months, especially young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions – such as heart, lung or kidney disease, or a weakened immune system.

Children between six months and eight years old should have two doses of the vaccine during the first season of vaccination.

According to the report, vaccination should occur before onset of influenza activity in the community, and providers should offer vaccination as soon as vaccine is available. Vaccination also should continue to be offered throughout the influenza season.

Even though the vaccine has not been changed since last year, health officials are recommending that people still get the vaccine.

Compton said there is no need to worry if one can’t make it to the drive-through clinic.

“If someone comes in to the clinic and can’t get out, our nurses will be more than happy to come out and give a flu shot,” Compton said.

According to Inactivated Influenza Vaccine 2011-12 “What You Need to Know,” there are several symptoms that define influenza.

Those symptoms include fever/chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache and a runny or stuffy nose.