Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Heather's Corner: 'Tis Flu Season: Let's Be Smart Oro Valley

Pima county has officially reported it's first case of influenza for the entire state of Arizona for this flu season. With last year's flu season, from the months of October 2013 to May 2014, bringing about 2000 cases and 15 subsequent deaths, it's time for a friendly reminder to do your due diligence in helping prevent the spread.

The Center's For Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") has expanded it's guidelines regarding flu vaccinations to include EVERYBODY over the age of six months. Last year's flu hit 18-49 year olds the hardest, a change from prior years.

Arizona holds low vaccination rates compared to the rest of the country with Pima County having only half of those over the age of 65 receiving vaccination. These are scary numbers when you are considering that this is a preventable illness with the probability of causing deaths this season, a reality.

Along with the proper vaccinations, the CDC offers other preventative actions such as:

  • Limit contact with others if you get sick with flu-like symptoms for at least 24 hours AFTER the fever is gone. 
  • Routinely clean frequently touched objects and surfaces including doorknobs, keyboards, and phones. 
  • Find out about plans your child's school or childcare program has if an outbreak of flu occur
  • Find out how sick students are separated from others and who will care for them until they can go home.

I highly request that everyone take a half hour out of their busy schedules and visit your doctor or a "minute clinic," like those found at Walgreens or CVS, and get a flu shot today. They require about two weeks to become effective so there is no time like the present. Remember you are not only protecting yourself, Oro Valley, but those perhaps more vulnerable than you, like infants and the elderly, that you would otherwise come in contact with.

You might even be saving a life!
Heather Nenadovich has lived in Oro Valley a total of five years. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Arizona. Her husband is Canadian so she is a hockey fan by default and so are her two very clever children. When not being a mommy, she enjoys hiking in Catalina State Park, hand building pottery, and gardening. Her favorite things about living in Oro Valley are the towns recognition of art and culture, their commitment to preserving nature and the Christmas parade. (Also anything from GMG Chinese Bistro.)

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