Glendale Heights – With flu season just around the corner, now is a great time to get a flu shot. The flu might seem like a commonplace illness, but it can be dangerous, especially for children under 2, adults older than 65 and other high-risk individuals.
Adventist GlenOaks Hospital is offering flu shots for $20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the outpatient pharmacy, 701 Winthrop Ave., Glendale Heights. Walk-ins are welcome; no appointment is necessary. Most insurance is accepted. For more information, call 630-545-7310.
On average, 5 to 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu every year and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized each year from flu-related complications. Deaths from flu-related causes range from 3,300 to 48,600 a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although the World Health Organization declared an end to the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, the H1N1 flu virus is expected to circulate again this flu season, along with other seasonal flu viruses. The 2010-2011 flu vaccine includes protection against the 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus and other seasonal flu viruses.
“The single best way for families to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each fall,” said Jackie Conrad, vice president/chief nursing officer, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital. “Most of the time, the flu shot does prevent the flu
Formally known as influenza, the flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It is transmitted through contact with an infected person, through air droplets or contaminated items. Annual vaccinations are necessary because influenza viruses mutate so quickly, often rendering one season’s vaccine ineffective by the next season. The vaccine produced during a given season targets those strains most likely to make people sick. The best time to get vaccinated is at the start of flu season, which begins in October and can run through late April or early May.
In addition to children under 2 and adults older than 65, others who should be vaccinated include pregnant women, people with certain chronic medical conditions and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. People who live in the same households as infants age six months or younger or other susceptible populations also should be vaccinated to avoid spreading the disease, Conrad said.
Conrad also urges people to follow the CDC’s recommendations to take the following preventative measures to avoid contracting and spreading the flu:
- Avoid close contact with others when you’re sick,
- Stay home from work or school when you’re sick,
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing,
- Wash your hands often,
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, and
- Practice other good health habits: get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
“We can’t stress enough that the flu shot does not cause the flu,” Conrad said. “The flu shot does not contain a live virus and cannot cause the flu. This influenza vaccine is an inactivated virus given with a needle. Some people get a little soreness or redness in the area where they got the shot, but it goes away in a day or two.”
Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.