Oakland County Urges Vaccinations After Rise In Flu

PONTIAC (WWJ) – If you live in Oakland County and haven’t gotten a flu shot this season, officials have a message for you.

A recent increase in flu activity has prompted Oakland County Health Division to urge residents to get vaccinated against the virus if they have not already done so. Flu shots are available at Health Division offices in Pontiac and Southfield.

“Our goal is to keep our residents healthy,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said in a statement. “We urge people to get a flu shot annually and take all necessary precautions against the flu.”

Vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and infants are at greater risk of contracting the flu, which can be a life-threatening illness. Those who live, work or interact with higher-risk populations should get the flu vaccine in order to protect those who are more susceptible. Health Division recommends that individuals 6 months and older get vaccinated against the flu every year.

This year’s vaccine protects against Type A H1N1, H3N2, and two Type B strains which are most likely to occur this season.

“While we are currently seeing an increase in flu activity, it is not uncommon for flu cases to peak at this time of year,” George Miller, director of Oakland County’s Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement. “This season’s vaccine is well matched to circulating viruses and it is not too late in the season to get protected by a flu shot.”

The flu usually occurs suddenly and can cause mild to severe illness and sometimes lead to death. Symptoms of the flu include:

• Fever or chills
• Cough
• Sore throat
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Muscle or body aches
• Headaches
• Fatigue
• Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults)

Flu can spread to others up to six feet away by droplets circulating when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. A person may also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has a flu virus on it and then touching their own eyes, nose or mouth. To avoid this, the Health Division recommends washing hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Flu shots cost $25. The high-dose flu shot recommended for those 65 years and older is $37 and is covered by Medicare.

Flu shots will be available at Health Division offices in Pontiac at 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, and Southfield at 27725 Greenfield Road, from noon until 8 p.m. on Mondays, and 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Walk-in clients are welcome.

You may also pay online and register for a flu shot at www.oakgov.com/health.

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