SOUTH BEND, Wash. - The Pacific County Public Health and Human Services Department held a H1N1 vaccination clinic for emergency medical services, home health, and long term care providers. The vaccine was available in the form of both nasal spray and the “flu shot.” Vaccine has also been distributed to local hospitals and doctor’s offices to vaccinate their staff.
It is anticipated that sometime in early November there will be plenty of vaccine available to provide it to anyone who would like to be vaccinated, including those over age 65. Those at highest risk and our health care providers are being vaccinated first. The Health Department is working with local providers and partners to have vaccine available for the general public as soon as it is received.
As a reminder the groups recommended to receive the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine include:
· Pregnant women
· Household contacts and caregivers of children younger than 6 months of age
· Healthcare and emergency medical service personnel with direct patient contact
· All people from 6 months through 24 years of age
· Persons aged 25 through 64 years who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza
Influenza like illnesses have already been reported in the community in both children and adults. The Health Department would like to remind you to take precaution against the flu. Please continue to use common-sense measures: stay home if you are sick, avoid close contact, and practice hand washing. As always, persons with a respiratory illness (fever of over 100°, cough, and/or sore throat) should stay home from work or school to avoid spreading influenza and other respiratory illnesses to others.
Here are some tips to keep from spreading your germs to others, and to keep from catching someone else’s germs.
Keep your germs to yourself:
· Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose.
· Discard used tissues in the trash as soon as you can.
· Always wash your hands after sneezing, blowing your nose, or coughing, or after touching used tissues or handkerchiefs. Wash hands often if you are sick.
· Use warm water and soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizers to wash your hands.
· Try to stay home if you have a cough and fever.
· See your doctor as soon as you can if you have a cough and fever, and follow their instructions. Take medicine as prescribed and get lots of rest.
· If asked, use face masks provided in your doctor’s office or clinic’s waiting room. Follow office or clinic staff instructions to help stop the spread of germs.
Keep the germs away:
· Wash your hands before eating, or touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
· Wash your hands after touching anyone who is sneezing, coughing or blowing their nose.
· Don’t share things like towels, lipstick, toys, or anything else that might be contaminated with respiratory germs.
· Don’t share food, utensils or beverage containers with others.
If you need additional information about H1N1 influenza there is 24 hour information available in both English and Spanish at 888-703-4364. You may also contact the Health Department at (360) 875-9343 or (360) 642-9349. Information may also be obtained through the Washington State Department of Health website at www.doh.wa.gov/h1n1/