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South Health District

Fast-Track and FREE Flu Shots Offered

Health departments in Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, Tift and Turner Counties will begin offering FREE flu shots to uninsured adults tomorrow, January 30, while supplies last. There will also be a “fast-track” in each health department for anyone still in need of their flu vaccine, including those with private insurance.

“This has turned out to be an extremely bad flu season,” says Dr. William Grow, district health director. “We want to ensure every person in our community has access to the flu vaccine, whether they can pay for it or not. Insurance carriers cover the flu vaccine for those that are insured.”

Flu is widespread in Georgia. The predominant strain of flu circulating in Georgia and around the country is influenza A (H3N2). This strain can be particularly hard on the very young, people over age 65, or those with existing medical conditions. Every individual over six months of age should get a flu shot annually.

Flu symptoms and their intensity can vary from person to person, and can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. If you think you have the flu, call or visit your doctor, according to Grow.

Other prevention tips for flu are:

  • Frequent and thorough hand-washing with soap and warm water. Alcohol based gels are the next best thing if you don’t have access to soap and water.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing to help prevent the spread of the flu. Use a tissue or cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow or arm.
  • Avoid touching your face as flu germs can get into the body through mucus membranes of the nose, mouth and eyes.
  • If you are sick, stay home from school or work. Flu sufferers should be free of a fever, without the use of a fever reducer, for at least 24 hours before returning to school or work.

For more information, call your local health department.

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