MAHASKA COUNTY – In response to the widespread level of influenza in the Oskaloosa community, the MHP Medical Group is now offering a flu vaccine clinic Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm by registering at door #4 on the MHP campus, until further notice.
According to Executive Director of Clinics Andrea Hagist, RN, MSN, people can stop by with no restrictions and no appointment, and insurance can be billed. “It’s not too late to get a flu vaccination,” Hagist said. “Health officials say that influenza will continue to circulate in the US and typically peaks in February. Getting vaccinated now will still offer protection for most of the flu season.”
Hagist said it’s always good practice to use the 3 Cs: Cover your cough or sneezes; Clean your hands often; and Contain germs by staying home when ill.
According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, the predominant flu strain this season is AH3N2, which typically causes serious illnesses, hospitalizations and even death, particularly for those who are very young or old and those with weakened immune systems. The flu is a respiratory illness caused by viruses. It comes on suddenly and symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches. Illness typically lasts two to seven days, and often puts healthy people in bed for days.
“Remember, serious illness from the flu is more likely in certain groups of people, including people 65 and older, pregnant women, people with certain chronic medical conditions and young children,” Hagist stressed.
“It’s also important to contact your health care provider as soon as possible after flu symptoms begin, especially if you are at high risk of complications and serious disease. If you start on anti-viral medications within a day or two of when your symptoms start, your risk of serious disease, hospitalization and even death can be significantly reduced.”