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Spread holiday cheer, not the flu

As peak flu season nears, Crow Wing County Community Services is reminding residents to get vaccinated. Through the Child and Teen Checkups program, vaccinations and regular medical, dental and vision checkups are free for qualifying youths age 2...

As peak flu season nears, Crow Wing County Community Services is reminding residents to get vaccinated.

Through the Child and Teen Checkups program, vaccinations and regular medical, dental and vision checkups are free for qualifying youths age 20 and younger.

With the hustle and bustle of holiday gatherings and activities, the possibility of being infected with the flu increases as the flu season historically peaks between December and February. The Minnesota Department of Health recommends everyone 6 months old and older get an annual flu vaccination.

Flu symptoms include fever, dry cough, sore throat, headache, body aches and extreme tiredness. Because symptoms come on quickly, by the time the flu hits, a person has likely already infected others. The flu can also lead to more serious conditions in those who are more susceptible, such as the very young, the elderly or those with compromised lung health.

For Crow Wing County residents age 20 and younger who are enrolled in Medical Assistance, free health screenings and vaccinations, including flu shots and the nasal spray flu vaccine, are available through the Child and Teen Checkups program.

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"Along with having them vaccinated, teach your children to help reduce the spread of germs with thorough handwashing," stated Stephanie Kubas, Crow Wing County public health nurse and Child and Teen Checkups advocate, in a news release. "Show them how to cough into their elbow rather than a hand, remind them to keep their hands away from their mouth, nose and eyes. Above all, keep them home from school or holiday events if they're sick."

Child and Teen Checkups promotes regular doctor visits-including health screenings, vaccinations and physicals-as well as vision exams and dental checkups, to assure health problems are diagnosed and treated early before they become more complex and treatment becomes more costly.

When scheduling an appointment for a flu vaccination, contact a participating provider and ask that the visit be billed under Child and Teen Checkups. More information is available at www.ChildAndTeenCheckups.com , along with a current list of participating medical, dental and eye clinics located in Crow Wing County.

The Child and Teen Checkups program is federally required by the Social Security Act and is administered by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and Crow Wing County.

Related Topics: CROW WING COUNTY
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