Healthy People in a Healthy Environment

More Than 750 Receive Free Flu Vaccinations At Public Clinics

Harford County, Maryland, January 22, 2013  –  Harford County Health Department reports over 500 adults and children received seasonal influenza vaccinations at their public vaccination clinic held last Friday in the County Council Chambers, while almost 250 more received vaccinations on Saturday at the public vaccination clinic held by Upper Chesapeake Health at the Harford Mall.

Harford County Health Officer, Susan Kelly, stated, “We are very pleased with the turnout on Friday and are encouraged that the public is taking flu illness and the importance of vaccination seriously.”  The Health Department continues to offer free vaccinations for the public at their Woodbridge Center location in Edgewood for as long as their supply lasts.  Interested persons should first contact their Communicable Disease Unit at 410-612-1774 to make arrangements.

 Although surveillance indicators are mixed, the most recent Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reports indicate that for the fourth straight week, flu remains widespread in every region in Maryland and that the flu’s intensity level remains high.

Ms. Kelly reminds the public that it is not too late to benefit from being vaccinated and that it remains the best method for preventing influenza as well as the potentially severe complications in children and adults the flu can cause.  Vaccination is recommended for any person older 6 months of age in order to prevent the flu and its complications.  Individuals at highest risk from flu complications include children younger than 5 years old, including children younger than 6 months of age who are too young to be vaccinated, children and adults with chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease and adults 65 years and older.

People who develop influenza-like illnesses (fever plus cough or sore throat) should stay home from work or school while they’re sick. Most people recover from influenza within a few days to less than two weeks, even without any specific treatment. However, certain people who might be at greater risk of complications if they get influenza should check in with their healthcare provider if they develop an influenza-like illness, to see if they might benefit from an antiviral medication, like Tamiflu. Those people include young children, people at 65 and over, people with underlying medical conditions, and pregnant women.

More information on seasonal influenza is available on the Harford County Health Department website, at http://harfordcountyhealth.com, or by calling 410-612-1781.  Comprehensive flu information also is available by visiting the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website at http://ideha.dhmh.maryland.gov/influenza/SitePages/Home.aspx and the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm.