Influenza Cases Rising
Wednesday November 17, 2021
Get Your Flu and COVID Shots!
A recent outbreak of 525 cases of influenza among students at University of Michigan is a reminder to get your flu and COVID vaccinations. Statewide surveillance shows flu vaccination numbers are lower than last year’s, which puts the community at higher risk for transmission.
“The agency understands that everyone is fatigued with messaging about COVID, but we must continue to protect the residents from Influenza as well. Due to the pandemic response of 2021, influenza cases were lower, because of the mitigation strategies communities and households were using,” says Kali Nichols, Director of Personal Health & Disease Prevention. “This year could be challenging with low COVID vaccination numbers in many of our communities and individuals not getting their flu shots. Flu shots are widely available including local pharmacies, physician offices, and your local health department office. Call to make your appointment today.”
Graph courtesy CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm
As a reminder to protect your self from respiratory illnesses, including influenza and COVID:
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
If you become ill get tested for influenza and COVID. If positive for either, follow isolation/quarantine guidance.
If you are sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.
Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu.
The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency offers free flu shots to qualifying families with children age 18 or younger through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. This program is for children who are not insured or whose insurance does not cover immunizations. To get your flu shot from the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency, please call your local office and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
Branch County: Monday Flu Shot clinics – call 517-279-9561 ext. 100
Hillsdale County: Wednesday Flu Shot clinics – call 517-437-7395 ext. 336
St. Joseph County: Tuesday Flu Shot clinics – 269-273-2161 ext. 208
We offer free COVID vaccination to all eligible residents, including 1st, 2nd, 3rd, booster, and pediatric doses at our clinics. To see available clinic dates and make an appointment, go to www.bhsj.org/scheduling.
The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency is committed to promoting wellness, preventing disease, providing health care, and protecting the environment.