Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) offers annual flu vaccines to everyone 6 months and older at the Acworth, Douglasville, East Cobb and Marietta Public Health Center locations.
Influenza (flu) Symptoms
The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
* It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
Getting Your Flu Shot
Appointments are not required to receive the flu vaccine and the cost is $25.
Local businesses and community events for groups of 20 or more people who are interested in having flu vaccines administered should call Priti Kolhe at (770) 514-2349.
Vaccine Information Statements (VIS)
Vaccine Information Statements are information sheets produced by the CDC that explain both the benefits and risks of a vaccine to vaccine recipients.
Children without health insurance and children with Medicaid or PeachCare are eligible to receive a state-supplied vaccine. CDPH is able to bill Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna, Meritain, TRICARE Standard, Humana, Coventry, Cigna PPO, Cigna Open Access and First Health Insurances with no co-pay for the vaccine.
For a list of accepted commercial insurance providers, please check here.
Cash, Visa and MasterCard will also be accepted.
Recommendations for Senior Patients
In addition to the flu vaccine, CDPH also recommends pneumonia shots for persons over 65 years old, or anyone with a chronic illness or weakened immune system. Medicare pays for the flu and pneumonia vaccines. The shingles vaccine is also recommended for anyone over 60 years of age. While you are getting your flu shot, be sure to ask your provider if you are up to date on your Tetanus vaccinations.
Reduce the Risk of Getting the Flu
In addition to vaccination, individuals can also reduce the risk of getting the flu by following a few simple steps:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleanser
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Stay home when you are sick and keep sick children home
- Do not share eating utensils, drinking glasses, towels or other personal items
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then put used tissues in the trash and wash your hands. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve
For more information:
Call Cobb & Douglas Public Health at 770-514-2300 or visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/.