Flu season is again upon us

For many people a bout of influenza is a nuisance, which can be managed without medical attention. But for those at the extremes of age or who have significant medical problems, influenza can be dangerous or even deadly.

The best protection against influenza is immunization. Each year this shot saves many thousands of lives. Plumas County Public Health Agency  is again having drive-up and walk-in immunization clinics this year the last week of October.

We’re also helping keep influenza outbreaks to a minimum in the public schools by having clinics there the second week of November for students and staff. Flu vaccination forms and schedule can be found at plumascounty.us/publichealth/fluinformation .

Unfortunately, the Flu-Mist nasal vaccine (no shot) that was available in recent years is no longer effective, so all influenza immunizations now require a shot. Despite the nuisance and pain of getting the shot, influenza vaccination is well worth the trouble. It is very effective in preventing influenza, a miserable illness, which usually keeps people out of school or work for about a week.

Influenza immunization is especially important for adults over 65, people with chronic medical conditions (diabetes, asthma, congestive heart failure, HIV, severe obesity or cancer); women who will be pregnant during flu season; young children; and health care and home care providers. These people are strongly urged to get a flu shot. Flu vaccine is plentiful this year and is available from many sources, including our drive-up and walk-in clinics, private physicians and local pharmacies. PCPHA will be holding additional flu vaccination clinics at the health department after the drive-up and walk-in clinics. 

Influenza season runs from November through April. Symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body and muscle aches, headaches and fatigue. Some people also have vomiting and diarrhea.

If you develop influenza, you should stay home unless you need medical care. Most people will recover without the need for medical attention. Make sure to drink plenty of liquids and consider taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) for your aches, pains and fever. Do not take aspirin.

To further help prevent the spread of influenza, people who are ill should stay home until they are completely well, cover their coughs and sneezes, wash their hands frequently and disinfect commonly shared or frequently touched items.

If you or your child have one of the medical conditions listed above and develop flu-like illness, it is important to contact your healthcare provider right away for advice about whether you should be seen by them or start anti-viral medication.

Reasons to seek emergency medical care in children are: fast breathing or trouble breathing, not drinking liquids, persistent vomiting, not waking up or interacting, being so irritable they don’t want to be held or a cough that takes a turn for the worse after initially improving. In adults, signs of an emergency may include difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, pain in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness or new confusion.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Plumas County Public Health Agency at 283-6330 or visit the CDC influenza website at cdc.gov/flu .

Plumas County free flu vaccination clinic schedule:

plumascounty.us/publichealth/fluinformation

Greenville:

Monday, Oct. 23

Enter: Indian Valley Medical Clinic, 174 Hot Springs Road.

If the weather is bad, the clinic will be moved to Greenville Town Hall

Portola:

Tuesday, Oct. 24

Enter: 500 First Avenue.

If the weather is bad, the clinic will be moved to Portola Memorial Hall

Chester:

Thursday, Oct. 26

Chester Memorial Hall (not a drive thru clinic).

If there are mobility issues a staff member will go to vehicles to administer the vaccine.

Quincy:

Friday, Oct. 27

Plumas County Fairgrounds in Tulsa-Scott Building (not a drive thru clinic).

If there are mobility issues a staff member will go to vehicles to administer the vaccine.

Graeagle:

Thursday, Oct. 19 

Sponsored by Eastern Plumas Health Care

Enter:  Wasco Trail (Blairsden-Graeagle Road to Maricopa Trail to Wasco Trail).

If the weather is bad, the clinic will be moved inside the Graeagle Fire Department.

School-aged children flu vaccination clinics:

plumascounty.us/publichealth/fluinformation

Parents are asked to complete Flu Form and send completed forms with student back to school prior to the date listed below:

Greenville Schools:

Tuesday, Nov. 7, during school hours.

Chester Schools:

Tuesday, Nov. 7, during school hours.

Portola Schools:

Wednesday, Nov. 8, during school hours.

Quincy Schools:

Thursday, Nov. 9, during school hours.