Crawfordville, FL-November 30, 2012
Just a few months into the flu season, the influenza virus has claimed a life in Wakulla County.
Health Officials are not releasing the identify of the person. But they say it is the first death from the flu virus the county has seen in at least five years.
The death comes the same week the county began administering its first full-day of flu shot clinics.
Sherry Bramblett is the director of nursing for the Wakulla County Health Department.
"The shots are very important. It's what's going to boost your immune system. Every year they try to tailor the shot to the strains that are circulating so the shot that you got last year may not be protecting you this year so it's very important to get an annual flu shot," says Bramblett.
Millions of people get sick from the flu each year. The Centers for Disease Control says it kills between 3,000 and 49,000 Americans annually.
"If you start running a very high fever all of a sudden, feeling really tired, chills , you know you might be vomiting, you need to stay home, stay away from others and follow up with your doctor," says Bramblett.
The next flu clinic is December 3 at Wakulla High School. The Health Department says the shots will be given to faculty and staff as well as students at the school.
Wakulla County Health Department Release
Crawfordville, FL —The Wakulla County Health Department (WCHD) today confirmed a death related to the influenza virus.
“We are deeply saddened as a community to hear of this tragedy, and send our sincerest condolences,” said WCHD Administrator Padraic Juarez, MS, REHS, CPM. “The Wakulla County Health Department along with our neighboring health partners are committed to helping our community learn more about the flu virus and its potential impact on a person’s overall health.”
The WCHD will offer flu clinics at the following dates and locations:
Wakulla County Flu Clinics
When: November 30, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Wakulla County Health Department
48 Oak Street
Crawfordville, Fla. 32327
For Wakulla High School Students and Staff*
When: December 3, from 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Where: The Wakulla County High School
3237 Coastal Highway
Crawfordville, Fla. 32327
* Children, faculty and staff are urged to get their flu shots. Children must have signed permission slips from their parents. Permission slips and influenza vaccination information have been sent home.
Times and dates for flu shot clinics at the other schools will be announced next week.
To avoid catching the flu, the WCHD urges two prevention methods: getting a flu shot and being alert to spreading germs.
The CDC offers the following tips:
· Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away after use and wash your hands. If a tissue is not available, cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve, not your hand.
· Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
Each year’s flu vaccine contains the three strains of influenza most likely to be circulating that year. That’s why it’s so important to get a flu shot every fall. Last year’s shot might not cover the same strains infecting us this year.
The following groups of individuals are encouraged to receive a flu vaccine because they are either at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at higher risk for developing complications:
Children younger than five, but especially children younger than two years old
People 50 years of age and older
People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions including diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, asthma, kidney disease, liver disease, neurologic disorder, blood disorder or a weakened immune system
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 healthcare workers, household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu and household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (who are too young to be vaccinated)
The cost for the flu vaccine from the WCHD is $25. The vaccine is available at no charge for children up to age 18 who have Medicaid or for uninsured children.
Flu vaccinations are also available by appointment at the WCHD, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. A walk-in clinic is available each week on Wednesday afternoons, from
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please call the WCHD’s Immunization Program Office, at (850) 926-0400.