The fall season brings cooler temperatures and beautiful leaf-watching, but it also drags along something elsethe flu.
Anyone over the age of six months should get a flu shot, said Nancy Baymiller, Dawson Countys Department of Health manager of registered nurses.
The Department of Health is working with the Dawson County School System to get more children vaccinated.
They (Department of Health) have the vaccine, and in order to make it more accessible, they asked us if wed be willing to partner with them, and we certainly would, Dawson County School Nurse Jeannie Edwards said.
Parents who turn in consent forms by Friday, Oct. 11, can have their children receive the free flu vaccine, either in nasal mist or shot form. The consent forms are available at www.dawsoncountyschools.org under Parent Information. For those who cant access the form online, Edwards recommends telephoning the school clinic, which will arrange for a hard copy to be sent home with the student.
The vaccines will be at the schools starting Monday, Oct. 21. On Oct. 21, vaccinations are scheduled at Kilough Elementary from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., at Hightower Academy from 11a.m. to noon, and at Head Start from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m.
On Oct. 22, vaccines will be given at Robinson Elementary from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., at Dawson County High School from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and at Dawson County Middle School from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
On Oct. 23, the flu vaccine will be given at Riverview Elementary from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., at Riverview Middle from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and at Blacks Mill Elementary from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Last year, we gave over 100 vaccines, Edwards said. It was such a success and people were very happy they didnt have to leave work to take their children to get vaccines.
Edwards encouraged people to be vaccinated. You never know what germ is going to be out there that can affect us, she said. Take a few minutes to do something (get a flu shot) that we already have a vaccine for that can help protect you.
Dr. Larry Anderson agrees. People who dont want the flu should get a flu shot, he said. Dont be afraid to take the flu shot. It is certainly worth getting the flu shot than to get the flu.
But for those who dont get the vaccine and end up getting the flu, early treatment is the key. Nice medications like Tamiflu work very well at stopping flu symptoms, Anderson said. The sooner you take it, the sooner it works. If you feel like youre coming down with the flu, you should see your physicianthe sooner the better.
Symptoms to watch out for are high fever, body aches, headaches, sore throat. Other symptoms might be nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, Anderson said.
In addition to being vaccinated, Anderson recommends washing hands regularly, using sanitizing gels, not sharing food or drink containers and keeping a social distance away from someone you think has the flu.
Anderson said the flu vaccine is available at his office. Patients do not need an appointment. The cost is $28 without insurance. Medicare patients get the vaccine freeno copay or deductible.
Flu vaccines are also available at the Dawson County Health Department, for $25. The recommended day to come in is Fridays, but Baymiller said the department can fit people in on other days. Vaccines are also available at CVS and Kroger. No appointment is needed.
For more information on the flu and flu vaccines, Edwards recommends visiting www.cdc.gov/flu or calling 1-800-232-4636 or the health department at 706-265-2611.