Residents urged to get flu shots after sudden rise in cases

Published On: Dec 12 2012 04:38:36 PM EST
H1N1 Flu Shot
PONTIAC, Mich. -

Oakland County Health Division urges residents to take preventative action and get vaccinated against seasonal flu in the wake of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that said there has been a rapid increase in flu cases in Michigan.

In addition, the Michigan Department of Community Health has upgraded flu activity in the state from “sporadic” to the next higher level of “local,” reflecting recent increases in confirmed influenza cases and a facility outbreak from the southwest region of the state. Both Influenza A/H3N2 and Influenza B are noted to be circulating and showing increases in several other areas of Michigan.

“Most of the flu cases seen this year are well matched to this season’s vaccine, so a flu shot can offer good protection,” said Kathy Forzley, manager/health officer of OCHD.

Flu shots are available for $16 at Health Division offices from noon – 8 p.m. Monday and 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Offices are located at 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, Pontiac, and 27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield.

Residents may pre-register for an appointment by calling 248-858-7350 (Pontiac) or 248-424-7120 (Southfield). Walk-in appointments are welcome. Walk-in payment options include Medicare, Medicaid and cash (no credit cards, checks or money orders).

“Flu is a life-threatening disease, especially for the elderly and infants who are at greatest risk of contracting illness. If you are around these high-risk populations, it’s also important to protect yourself so you protect them.” Forzley said.

Health professionals recommend individuals 6 months and older should get vaccinated against seasonal flu every year. It can take about two weeks after the vaccination for the body to develop protection.

Flu can be spread to others up to about six feet away, mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own eyes, nose or mouth. To avoid this, wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. The flu usually comes on suddenly and can cause mild to severe illness, and at times lead to death. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

• Fever or chills
• Cough
• Sore throat
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Muscle or body aches
• Headaches
• Fatigue
• Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

For more information, call Health Division’s Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533 or click on oakgov.com/health.