With influenza on the rise, health professionals are urging all individuals (especially ‘high risk’ individuals) to get vaccinated – it’s not too late. Vaccinations are available through Jackson County Public Health (715-284-4301) for cash payment of $25 for adults and at no charge for children. Walgreens and Monroe County (608-269-8666) have vaccinations available too. ‘High risk’ includes children younger than five (but especially children younger than 2 years old), adults 65 years of age or older, pregnant women, American Indians, and people who have medical conditions, including: asthma, heart disease, diabetes, HIV, or cancer.
The State of Wisconsin confirmed that the H3N2 influenza virus that has hit our area is a “powerful virus”, that is one reason we have seen an increase in illness. The good news is, the State of Wisconsin also confirms that the influenza vaccination is a “good match” and should protect against the circulating strains of influenza.
Due to the severity of the strain of influenza, it is possible to get influenza even though you have received the vaccine. According to Melissa Bergerson, Infection Prevention/Employee Health Nurse at Black River Memorial Hospital, “we have noticed fewer sick days, decrease in severity of illness in those people who have received their flu vaccination.” The State of Wisconsin also stated that those individuals have increased protection from life threatening complications associated with influenza.
Influenza (‘flu’) is NOT the stomach flu. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Symptoms of influenza often include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, and fatigue (very tired). If you have any of these symptoms, isolate yourself from other individuals, especially those who are at ‘high risk’ (as defined above) and get plenty of rest.
If you have concerns, you can contact the Nurse Advisory Line provided by your insurance company or your primary care provider.