North GA – This year’s public health Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinics in North Georgia were a tremendous success with *1,120 residents arming themselves against the flu and protecting their families and communities from the spread of the virus. The Georgia Department of Public Health recently announced that flu activity in the state has become widespread earlier than usual this season so the department urged anyone who has not yet been vaccinated to not wait any longer.
Conducted each fall since 2007 in the North Georgia Health District by Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield County Health Departments, the drive-thru clinics allow residents a safe and convenient way to receive a flu shot. And it is also a time for the health departments and partnering agencies to test local plans for rapidly administering vaccine or medication during a public health crisis. These partners include local law enforcement, Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs), businesses and first responders such as the county Emergency Management Agency, Emergency Medical Services and Fire Departments.
Flu vaccine is available in several locations, such as doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and grocery stores; and it is offered at all county health departments in the North Georgia Health District at low or no cost, depending on an individual’s healthcare coverage - there is no need for an appointment during regular clinic hours.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, flu symptoms and symptom intensity can vary from person to person, and can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Some people are at higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, pregnant women, and children younger than 5 years, but especially those younger than 2 years old.
Along with a flu shot, take these additional steps to prevent the spread of flu and other viruses:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water, if available, or use an alcohol-based hand rub
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then dispose of the tissue, or cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow to prevent the spread of the flu
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth – germs spread this way
- Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that could be contaminated with germs like the flu
- Stay home if you experience flu-like symptoms – fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, runny nose, fatigue or vomiting and/or diarrhea – remain home for at least 24 hours after fever is gone without the aid of medication to keep from infecting others
For more information about influenza, log onto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at www.cdc.gov/flu.
To contact a county health department in the North Georgia Health District to ask about flu vaccine and other services, or to find the nearest health department location, click here to our home page: www.nghd.org.
*Of the 1,120 residents vaccinated this year at the Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinics in North Georgia, the county health departments provided the following numbers of doses:
|Cherokee County……. 139
|Gilmer County………… 113
Pickens County………. 151
Fannin County…………. 158
Murray County……….. 157
|Whitfield County……... 402