NEVADA (KRNV & MyNews4.com)-- Health officials say the first week of January is the beginning of peak flu season in Washoe County, but there's still time to get vaccinated.
“Everybody is potentially at risk,” says Kevin Dick the Washoe County District Health Officer.
While anyone can catch the flu, according to Dick this year the statistics are different, “What we’re seeing with the flu this season is
that the younger population, youth and young adults are getting cases that are more severe than we would typically expect for their age groups.
Dick says so far this season, it appears that the H1N1 strain is the predominant virus circulating the U.S. and Nevada, but he says it’s not too late to protect yourself, “We’re recommending for everyone to get vaccinated if they haven’t already.”
This year’s flu vaccine protects against at least three strains of influenza including H1N1. According to Dick it takes about two weeks after getting the flu shot for your body to develop immunity, so the sooner you can get a vaccine, the better.
“It’s important to remember that the flu is a serious illness and every year people do die from the flu,” says Dick.
The number of seasonal flu-related deaths varies from year to year, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
CDC estimates that from 1976-1977 flu season to the 2006-2007 flu season, flu-associated deaths ranged from a low of 3,000 people to a high of 49,000 people.
From the Washoe County Health District:
Flu shots are readily available throughout the community at local pharmacies, grocery stores, doctor’s offices and at the Health District. Costs for flu shots at the Health District vary depending upon each individual’s health care coverage or eligibility for state-sponsored vaccine, and both shots and flu mist (for children) are available.
The Health District administers immunizations by appointment only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 8 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and between 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Call 775 328-2402 on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday to make an appointment. Appointments can now be made up to a week in advance.