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The Dreaded Flu – Vaccines are available at the Porter County Health Department

Written by Jan Adler. Posted in Featured, Health & Wellness

Published on October 02, 2013 with No Comments

Flu shotWhen I was younger, I used to think the flu was a stomach ache, fever, nausea and, yes, the dreaded vomiting.  Since then I have learned differently. The flu (influenza) is a virus (bug, germ) that affects our throat, nose, and lungs.  Common symptoms are: fever, body aches, sore throat, headache, tiredness, and a cough.  Vomiting and diarrhea can occur but children with the flu usually suffer these symptoms along with other ones.

The flu virus is spread through the air or by contact with an object that has the flu virus on it. Spreading the flu virus through the air happens when someone with the flu (even if they don’t have symptoms yet) coughs, sneezes or talks. These actions carry the flu virus through the air. The virus can then land on another person or on an object that other people touch.  This is called droplet transmission. These droplets can enter a person’s mouth by being near the person with the flu or by touching something that person spread the germs on. 

Let’s say you’re grocery shopping or your children are playing at a park. The flu virus could be picked up anywhere the flu infected person has been. This is why making hand washing a habit and getting the flu (influenza) vaccine is so important. 

The flu can cause mild or severe symptoms. It is known the flu vaccine does not cause getting the flu. If a person does become ill after receiving the flu vaccine,  chances are they were exposed to the flu virus prior to getting vaccinated and, therefore, will get the flu.

People most likely to become severely ill with flu symptoms are children, the elderly, pregnant women, diabetics, those with breathing problems (asthma, COPD) and those diagnosed with heart disease. Serious complications from the flu can lead to hospitalization and possibly death.

The flu vaccine offered each year contains medication designed to prevent the strains of flu present in that particular area of the United States.  A yearly vaccination is recommended because our ability to fight off flu viruses decreases with time.

The flu vaccine is available through the typical shot or as a nasal spray. There are prerequisites for receiving the nasal spray vaccine.  Flu vaccines are available at Porter County Health Department at a discounted rate. Call the Porter County Health Department to schedule an appointment for a vaccination or to answer any questions you may have at 219-465-3525. 

The Porter County Health Department provides many necessary services for the community.  They are a caring, vital organization ready and willing to meet your needs.

With the economic status we are in now, we still need to take good care of ourselves.  This is difficult if we don’t have the money or availability of health care services. People who are employed but still cannot budget health care necessities are welcome to call the Porter County Health Department to learn what services can be received.

During my internship at Porter County Health Department, I found staff members were very knowledgeable, caring, and enjoyed their role as public health care providers.  In the past I thought of health departments as places to get my children vaccinated with the necessary vaccines.  After spending time at Porter County Health Department, I learned that was only a small aspect of their capacity.

Tidbit:  The first health department in the United States was established in Boston in 1799. Paul Revere was the first health officer.

BIO: All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle.  Jan Adler is a registered nurse pursuing a Masters in Public Health Degree from Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill. The beginning of her internship was spent at the Porter County Health Department, shadowing staff to understand the role they play in the community and about the services offered.  She was very impressed with the knowledge, expertise, and professionalism exhibited by staff. She is completing her internship with NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) of Porter County by providing her grant writing knowledge and skills. NAMI is a non-profit organization offering support and education about mental illness issues to the public.  Any questions concerning NAMI can be directed to 219-764-2958.

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