Department of Public Health
Brian J. LaGrasse, Director of Public Health
41 Pleasant St.
Methuen, MA 01844
Friday, Oct. 16, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Contact: Jessica Sacco
Email: [email protected]
Methuen Department of Public Health Encourages Residents to Get Their Flu Shots
METHUEN – With flu season already underway, the Methuen Department of Public Health would like to provide residents with health tips and remind them to get their flu vaccines.
“We want all of our residents to remain healthy and safe during the flu season this year,” said Brian LaGrasse, Director of Public Health in Methuen. “It is highly recommended that all residents, especially those at a higher risk, get their flu shots as soon as possible.”
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is an extremely contagious respiratory illness caused by A or B viruses that appear most in the winter or early spring. It attacks the body by spreading through the upper and/or lower respiratory tract.
Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also vomit or have diarrhea. Any number of these symptoms may be apparent and residents are advised to see a doctor immediately to confirm if they have the flu.
Although flu season typically peaks in January, it can start at any time and peak earlier, and now is the time to vaccinate. The Bureau of Infectious Disease urges people to vaccinate as soon as they can with whatever vaccine is available. There is no advantage to waiting and it takes a few weeks for the vaccine to become effective.
The flu vaccine is updated every year based on which influenza viruses are making people sick. The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses, as it is designed to:
- Prevent you from getting sick from the flu.
- Protect people who are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from flu, like children younger than 2 years old, adults 65 and older, pregnant women (and those up to two weeks postpartum), and people with chronic health conditions. Vaccination is also important for healthcare workers and other people who live with or care for high risk people.
- Reduce symptoms and the risk of hospitalization and death if you were to get sick.
The Methuen Department of Public Health will be holding a flu clinic on October 28 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Quinn Building, 90 Hampshire St. The clinic is for residents age 18 and older with no appointment necessary. Residents are asked to bring their insurance cards for billing purposes. Most major insurance carriers will be accepted, but the cost of a flu shot without insurance is $31.99. Cash or checks will be accepted and checks should be made payable to Rite Aid.
For more information contact the Department of Public Health at (978) 983-8655.