News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 21, 2014

Caution urged as flu season presses on

Shots, clinics planned for ‘at-risk’ populations

The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A flu shot clinic to reach people without insurance or those who cannot pay for the shot is set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the Light House Mission in Terre Haute.

“There are a limited number of shots available for this on a first-come, first-served basis,” said Christina Keller, health education/media coordinator with the Vigo County Health Department. “We are trying to reach a high-risk population — those without insurance or who cannot pay for the cost of a shot.”

Walgreens pharmacy is conducting the midday clinic. Those with Medicaid coverage must pay $3 for the shot. Those with no insurance or with Medicare receive the shot at no charge. For others, the cost is $25.99 by cash or check. No credit or debit cards will be accepted.

Keller said that the flu season can go as late as May, so it is wise to get vaccinated. Flu shots are recommended for anyone age 6 months or older, especially the elderly, pregnant women, young children, health care workers and those with chronic illnesses or compromised immune systems.

During the week ending Jan. 11, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that influenza activity remained high in the United States.

In Indiana, the number of influenza-related deaths this season has now reached 11, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

St. Joseph County, home to South Bend, has been hit particularly hard, experiencing six deaths. No other Indiana county has reported more than one death. In a change from last year’s flu season, health officials have said that all but one of the deaths occurred in individuals between 25 and 64.

Keller said that people are encouraged to prevent the spread of flu and other infectious diseases by frequently washing their hands with warm, soapy water; by covering coughs and sneezes with an elbow or disposable tissue; and by staying home from school and work when sick.

There are two vaccine combinations available for the 2013-14 flu season. The trivalent vaccine offers protection against the three most common strains of influenza – H3N2, H1N1 and one type of Influenza B. A new quadrivalent vaccine was released this year and includes a second Influenza B strain.

The H1N1 strain – commonly referred to as swine flu in the past – appears to be predominant thus far in the 2013-14 flu season.

For more information about Indiana’s 2013-2014 influenza season, visit the Indiana State Department of Health website at www.State

Free flu shot clinic

• 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today

• Lighthouse Mission, 1450 Wabash Ave., Terre Haute

• For at-risk population

• Cost $25.99 for those with insurance

Influenza signs

• Fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater

• Headache

• Fatigue

n Cough

• Muscle aches

• Sore throat

— if you experience these symptoms,

contact your health care provider