“We continue to be a resource for the Norwalk community during this terrible flu season,” explained Norwalk Director of Health Deanna D’Amore, MPH. “We are still offering vaccines, and we are closely monitoring flu activity.”
The flu vaccine offers protection against seasonal and H1N1 flu, and everyone older than 6 months is encouraged to be vaccinated.
Children between 6 months and 18 years of age can receive the vaccine free of charge. Flu shots are free for adults who have Medicare Part B, Medicaid, Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, ConnectiCare, and United. Please bring all your insurance cards with you. Otherwise, standard flu shots cost $25 per person, and high-dose shots (an option for patients 65 and older) cost $50. No one will be turned away, regardless of their ability to pay.
The Health Department also holds regular walk-in hours on Tuesdays from 1 – 3 pm without an appointment, while vaccine supplies last.
In addition to getting your flu shot, you can take other steps to stay healthy this year:
Wash your hands regularly. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick, too.
Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
Seek care early. See your healthcare provider right away if you develop flu symptoms (see below). Antiviral medications can help if taken early in the illness.
Recognizing Flu Symptoms
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports these important signs and symptoms of flu to look out for:
Fever (though, not everyone with flu will have a fever)
Runny or stuffy nose
Muscle or body aches
Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
Get medical help right away if you experience any of these symptoms or notice them in your children:
Fast breathing or trouble breathing
All symptoms listed for children, plus…
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Bluish skin color
Has no tears when crying
Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
Not drinking enough fluids
Being unable to eat
Not waking up or not interacting
Has trouble breathing
Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal
Severe or persistent vomiting
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Fever with a rash
If you have a question about the flu or the flu vaccine, call your physician. If you do not have a physician, or if you have questions about getting your flu shot at the Health Department, please call us at (203) 854-7776.
For more information about the flu, visit: www.flu.gov
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