Four Carroll County Health Department employees recently attended a pandemic influenza training at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, AL. The CDP is a state-of-the-art training facility operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“This hands-on training will help us to improve our flu plan for Carroll County, for both the seasonal flu virus and any new influenza or other respiratory viruses that may affect our residents,” said Tierney Youngling, who leads the Public Health Preparedness and Response team in Carroll County. “With many new viruses appearing overseas, and global travel increasing, we need to be prepared to minimize the impact of any new illnesses on our community.”
The Carroll County Health Department recommends that most people get a seasonal flu shot every year. People who get the vaccine are 60 percent less likely to need treatment for the flu by a healthcare provider, according to a health department news release. Getting the vaccine has also been shown to reduce illness, lost work time, hospitalizations, and deaths from flu.
The Health Department will not be holding flu shot clinics for adults, but you can find out where to get a shot near you at http://flushot.healthmap.org/.
Carroll County Public Schools, working with the Health Department, will begin Flu Mist administration on Oct. 8 for children in public elementary and middle schools. Flu clinics for children who are not able to receive the Flu Mist at school will be held at the Carroll County Health Department from 4 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 15, 22, and 29, and Nov. 12. Both the Flu Mist and the flu shot will be available, free of charge, according to a news release.
Simple steps such as washing your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer, sneezing or coughing into your sleeve instead of your hand, staying home when sick, and avoiding others who are sick can also help prevent the spread of the flu, according to the Health Department. Practicing healthy eating, exercise, and sleep habits can also help you stay well during flu season.
learn more about the seasonal flu and novel flu viruses, go to http://www.flu.gov/. For more information on the Carroll County Health
Department, see http://www.carrollhealthdepartment.dhmh.md.gov/ or call 410-876-2152.