By JOSH VARDAMAN
Courier staff writer
---- — OTTUMWA — The severity of the upcoming flu season can be lessened greatly thanks to the availability of vaccinations.
Wapello County Public Health has continued to do its part to try and keep the community healthy, and it is not ready to stop.
This year they are featuring the quad vaccine, which will protect those vaccinated from two A strains and two B strains of influenza. Previously, they had a tri vaccine available, which would protect from two A and only one B strain, but this year they were able to obtain the updated vaccination.
The quad vaccine is new for providers this year and was very hard to get, according to Lynelle Diers of Wapello County Public Health. They are one of the few providers in the area that features the quad vaccine and had to raise the price per vaccine from $25 to $30.
Influenza can be a very nasty virus and even deadly in some cases. A normal, healthy adult could be forced away from work for nearly two weeks if it is contracted due to its incredibly high contagiousness. Household isolation is also recommended to try and keep the virus contained until it is killed.
The flu can be contracted almost anywhere because of how contagious it is. Whether in church, the grocery store or at school, influenza can be easily passed through the air or on objects. That is why the vaccine is so important and why isolation is the perfect way to help stop the spread of the virus, Diers explains.
“Prevention is the key,” Diers said. “If you’re sick, stay home.”
Wapello County Public Health is having an additional day of flu clinics this week to help share the vaccine with as many community members as possible. Thanks to extra help being provided by a unit of student nurses, Thursday will have special walk-in times all day.
Usually Wapello County Public Health does not hold flu clinics on Thursdays but will this week, thanks to the help by the student nurses. Walk-in times will be 10:30 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m. Regular walk-in times are every Monday through Wednesday and Friday from 1-3 p.m.
For more information, call Wapello County Public Health at 641-682-5434.
— To see reporter Josh Vardaman's Twitter feed, go to @CourierJosh