Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 --- 2:00 p.m.
Information from Public Health Madison & Dane County:
This fall season will not be typical when it comes to protecting yourself and your family from the flu. This year we need to be thinking about two different varieties of the flu; the seasonal flu that normally appears every fall and winter plus the H1N1 flu. Each variety requires a distinct vaccine.
Since H1N1 influenza appeared this past spring, health officials have been closely monitoring the disease and are planning for an expected wave of H1N1 influenza this fall.
The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated. Public Health – Madison and Dane County recommends that you get your seasonal flu immunization now. Those at risk for H1N1 flu should get that specific vaccine when it becomes available, likely in mid-October.
In general, anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting the seasonal flu should get vaccinated.
It is especially important for those in high risk groups:
· Children 6 months to 19 years of age
· People 50 years and older
· People with chronic diseases such as diabetes or asthma
· People living in nursing homes or long-term care home
· Women who are pregnant
· Health care providers
· People living with anyone in a high risk group
Seasonal vaccine is now available from Dane County health care providers. Public Health – Madison and Dane County offers the vaccine free for children, six months and older, and adults at immunization clinics held throughout the county. You can get information on these clinics at the following link: http://www.publichealthmdc.com/documents/ImmClinicSchedules.pdf.
People with health insurance should get their vaccination from their health care provider.
H1N1 flu immunization is expected to begin in mid-October. It will be available for specific risk groups from your health care provider, as well as from Public Health.