November 28, 2018

By Tamas Mondovics
Editor

Statewide free flu vaccination event “FightFluTN” will be available in Johnson County Wednesday, December 5. The Johnson County Health Department is once again offering flu vaccines at no charge to the community during a special “FightFluTN” vaccination event now scheduled for Wednesday, December 5, 2018.

“Getting a flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your family and others from the flu and help keep our community healthy,” said Johnson County Health Director Caroline Hurt.

Hurt emphasized that the flu can make people very sick, resulting in keeping residents away from work, school and other activities, put a patient in the hospital or even take one’s life. “We urge everyone in Johnson County who has not received a flu shot yet to get one now, and this event is a great time to do it.”

The Johnson County Health Department will provide flu shots at no cost to anyone who wishes to receive one at 715 West Main Street in Mountain City from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary.

Flu kills. Seasonal influenza is responsible for thousands of premature deaths in Tennessee and across the U.S. every year. So far in this decade:

-More than 1,500 American children have died from seasonal influenza

-51 children in Tennessee have died from seasonal influenza

-185 American children died from seasonal flu just last year

-About 80 percent of the children who died from seasonal flu had not been fully vaccinated

-Half of the children who died from seasonal flu had no known pre-existing risk condition

-Two out of three children who died from seasonal flu lost their lives within seven days of getting sick

-Six out of 10 children who died from seasonal flu lost their lives after being admitted to the hospital

Angie Stout with the JCHD in Mountain City noted that seasonal influenza activity is spreading in Johnson County and across Tennessee and is expected to continue for months, so it’s essential for anyone over six months of age who hasn’t had a flu shot this flu season to get one now.

“The flu vaccine is especially important for infants, young children, pregnant women, adults over age 50 and those with chronic medical conditions,” Stout said, adding, “The flu shot remains the best protection against influenza.”

Flu symptoms may reportedly include fever over 100 degrees, body aches, fatigue, cough and often a sore throat, along with a runny or stuffy nose, headaches, chills, and sometimes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It is often difficult to tell the difference between the flu and a cold as they present with similar symptoms. If one gets the flu, it is recommended to stay at home to prevent infecting others, drink plenty of water and clear fluids.

Other steps to help prevent one from getting sick include hand washing often with soap and water, and scrubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth as well as sick people, if possible. Getting lots of sleep and exercise, and eating healthy foods are all on the list.

For more information about the flu and getting a flu vaccine, call the Johnson County Health Department at 423-727-9731 or visit www.tn.gov/health/cedep/immunization-program/ip/flu-in-tennessee/influenza-immunization.html.