For most people it feels like winter is finally over, but as a few Hill County residents have discovered recently, flu season is still going.
According to the Hill County Health Department, influenza is making an appearance, three confirmed cases as of Wednesday, unexpectedly late in the season.
“Typically it is kind of awkward to see it come back at this time, but it can come back any time, ” Kim Larson from the health department, said.
While it’s not too late to get the flu, the health department wants to remind people that it is also not too late to get a vaccination.
“While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it’s especially important that certain people get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications, ” a health department press release said.
In Hill County, Larson recommends people call the health department at 265-5481, ext. 266, to set up an appointment for their two vaccination-giving days, Tuesday and Wednesday.
The health department is open from 8 a. m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p. m. Monday through Friday.
They still have flu vaccinations, but only 100 left.
At the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation public health department, Sandra Friede also recommends people take necessary precautions against the disease. The public health department, at 395-4486, is open for walk-in appointments from 8 a. m. to 4:30 p. m. Monday through Friday.
That precaution also means that people who already have the flu should not come in to the clinic. It’s too late for vaccination, which needs two weeks to work, at that point.
Anyone with the flu should just stay home and try not to infect anyone else, and help quell the spread.
Those at highest risk of influenza
• Pregnant women;
• Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old;
• People 50 years of age and older;
• People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions;
• People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities;
• People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
• Health care workers;
• Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu;
• Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated).