By: Laura-Jane Hatcher (WRGA News)
Between large shopping crowds and small holiday get-togethers, the Christmas season undoubtedly brings people together. But, increased contact with each other brings a sizable boost in the spread of communicable diseases like the Flu.
As part of the CDC’s initiative to halt the spread of the flu, this week has been named National Influenza Vaccination Week and Northwest Georgia Public Health Officials like Janet Everhardt are urging everyone over the age of six-months to receive the vaccine.
“The most important step in protecting yourself and your family against the flu is getting your flu vaccine. The strains change from year to year,” she said. “This year, we have two strains of Type ‘A’ and one strain of Type ‘B’, with one of the Type ‘A’s being H1N1 which was infamous back in 2009. Influenza can be a serious disease. It can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death.”
Already, Everhardt said cases of the Flu are up from last year. The current vaccine protects against all three strains of the disease, and is available in more ways than just the traditional needle to the arm. Patients have a choice between the nasal-spray immunization or the new intradermal shot, which is administered by a micro-sized needle to the first layer of the skin. A more potent vaccine is available for those who are 65-years-or-older
Many local retailers and pharmacies offer the immunization and the Floyd County Health Department still has plenty of the vaccine to go around. With the shot so readily available, no one should spend the holiday season in bed, sick.