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Good time for flu shots, county says

As flu season arrives, Crow Wing County Community Services is recommending influenza vaccinations. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness...

As flu season arrives, Crow Wing County Community Services is recommending influenza vaccinations.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness that can lead to hospitalizations and even death. Dec. 4-10 is National Influenza Vaccination Week, and a vaccination is one of several ways to try to prevent the flu, a news release stated.

"Now is a great time to get your flu vaccine," stated Stacy Patnode, public health nurse with community services, in the release. "National Influenza Vaccination Week serves as a reminder that there is still time to protect yourself and your family against influenza."

Flu season typically starts in the late fall and runs through February, but has been known to last well into May.

Influenza vaccinations are recommended for all Minnesotans 6 months of age and older. They are especially important for young children 6 months old to 5 years old, adults age 65 and older, people of any age with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, people living with or caring for those at high risk for complications from influenza and health care workers.

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"It is also important to note that since a person's immune protection from the vaccine declines over time, it is important to get the flu vaccine every year," stated Patnode in the release.

The vaccination costs vary depending on location, but it is usually covered by most health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid. Primary care clinics in the area as well as many pharmacies have the flu vaccine available for all adults and children. For more information on where to get the flu vaccine, call a primary care doctor or go online and visit www.vaccinefinder.org to find a nearby pharmacy.

Related Topics: CROW WING COUNTY
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