Flu Shot Update

Healthcare providers recommend that infants over six months, children and adults, including women who are pregnant, get a flu vaccine. Getting vaccinated not only helps protect you from the flu, it helps protect those you come in contact with.

“We recommend that adults get their flu vaccine during October to ensure maximum immunity throughout flu season. Getting the vaccine too early may lead to decreased immunity before flu season ends.” said Sarah Lallaman, DO, chief of Primary Care Services at Winona Health. “We may give pediatric patients the vaccine earlier if appropriate and desired.”

Winona Health’s 2017 flu shot walk-in dates are as follows:

  • Wednesday, October 11 through Friday, October 13: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Monday, October 16 through Friday, October 20: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Check-in for a flu shot will be on the second floor of the Winona Clinic at 855 Mankato Avenue in Winona. Please note that some waiting may be required and shots are given on a first-come, first-served basis. Please dress in clothing that will let you quickly expose your upper arm.

Insurance will be filed, or individuals may pay at check in: $36 or $70 for the high-dose vaccine (recommended option for those age 65 and older). Those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Please note that due to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), FluMist will not be available at Winona Health this season.

Children age 8 and under who did not receive a flu vaccine during last year’s flu season may need a second vaccine 30 days after receiving the first vaccine dose. If you have questions regarding dosage, please contact your healthcare provider.

More information about influenza is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Simple measures can help prevent spread of influenza

Influenza can range from being an uncomfortable inconvenience to being a severe illness. The healthcare team at Winona Health encourages the following habits to help you prevent getting or spreading colds or flu.

  • Cover you mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue away and wash your hands. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper sleeve rather than into your hands.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly after coughing or sneezing, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. If you have young children, start early with teaching them to wash their hands and help them as necessary.
  • Wash your hands after returning home from work, shopping or any public place.
  • Use a sanitizing wipe on items in your car or home that are frequently touched such as cabinet and doorknobs, the refrigerator handle, phones (including cell phones), light switches, remote controls and keyboards.
  • Protect others: Do not visit people in the hospital or living in long-term care residences, and limit visiting other people and places if you are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Take care of yourself: Stay home, drink plenty of fluids and get more rest if you begin experiencing cold or flu symptoms. It’s not just good for you, it’s good for everyone else as well.

When to seek medical attention for a sick child

It’s natural for parents to be concerned when their child is ill, but how do you decide whether you should see your healthcare provider?

Give your child more time for rest when they are sick. If your child’s energy level is down and you think they’ll have a hard time focusing in class, it’s probably best to keep them home to rest and get plenty of fluids.

If your child has a severe sore throat, especially if accompanied by a fever, aches and upset stomach without other typical cold symptoms, call your primary care provider about getting a strep test.

Severe illness may warrant a visit to your primary care provider, the Urgent Care Clinic or the Emergency Department.

If you have concerns or if something doesn’t seem right, call your primary healthcare provider or bring your child to the Urgent Care Clinic or hospital Emergency Department.

The Centers for Disease Control noted the following pediatric “emergency warning signs” need medical attention:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

If you have concerns or if something doesn’t seem right, call your primary healthcare provider or bring your child to the Urgent Care Clinic or hospital Emergency Department.

Symptoms of a Cold versus Flu

Symptoms

Cold

Influenza

Fever Rare in adults & older children, but can be as high as 102o F in infants and small children Usually 102o F, but can go up to 104o F and usually lasts 3-4 days
Headache Rare Sudden onset & can be severe
Muscle aches Mild Usual & often severe
Tiredness & weakness Mild Can last 2 or more weeks
Extreme exhaustion Never Sudden onset & can be severe
Runny nose Often Sometimes
Sneezing Often Sometimes
Sore throat Often Sometimes
Cough Mild, hacking cough Usual & can become severe

 

Test your Flu IQ here.

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