The Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed 19 flu-related deaths in Georgia and peak flu season is still a few weeks away. Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) urges anyone that has not received a flu shot to get one before it’s too late.
“Preventative actions such as covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and frequently washing your hands can help guard you from the flu.” said Karen Thomas of Director of Immunizations at CDPH. “However the best way to protect against influenza is to receive an annual flu vaccine.”
Regardless of race, age, gender or ethnicity, anyone can get sick from the flu. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often have a fever (but not always), cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue and some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
Those especially at risk are adults 65 years of age and older, children younger than 5, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or other long-term medical conditions.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months and older receive their flu vaccine – whether that’s through a flu shot or the nasal spray. Getting a flu vaccine is more convenient than ever before. Vaccines are available between 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday – Friday at most CDPH locations.
The cost of the vaccine at CDPH is $20 for each dose of regular flu and $40 for the high dose (recommended for people 65 or older). CDPH accepts Medicaid, Medicare, SHBP Cigna, SHBP United Health Care and Most BCBS PPO plans.
For more information, call Cobb & Douglas Public Health at 770-514-2300 or visit cobbanddouglaspublichealth.org. You can also visit the CDC’s website at cdc.gov.