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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • It's not too late to prevent flu

  • With a high level of influenza activity in Kansas, health officials say it's not too late to get a flu shot.
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    • Flu stats:
      • In the United States, an average of between 5 and 20 percent of the population contracts the flu each year.

      • More than 200,000 people are hospitalized each year ...
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      Flu stats:
      • In the United States, an average of between 5 and 20 percent of the population contracts the flu each year.
      • More than 200,000 people are hospitalized each year in the United States because of flu complications.
      • About 36,000 people die from flu each year in the United States.
      Source: Kansas Department of Health and Environment
  • With a high level of influenza activity in Kansas, health officials say it's not too late to get a flu shot.
    "It's very important to get the flu shot," said Amy Tollefson, public information officer for the Leavenworth County Health Department.
    Flu appears to be high and widespread in Kansas. Since Sept. 1, the flu or pneumonia have directly contributed to the death of more than 500 Kansans. Pneumonia is one of the complications that can develop from the flu, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
    An annual flu vaccination is recommended for just about everyone who is 6 months old or older.
    Tollefson said flu shots are available at the Leavenworth County Health Department from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Friday.
    Flu shots at the Leavenworth County Health Department are $20 each except those given to people who are over the age of 65. Tollefson said shots given to people who are older than 65 are $35 because a higher dosage is required. The shots can be paid for through Kansas Medicaid or Medicare or by cash or check.
    For more information, call 680-2001.
    Vaccination is said to be especially important for people who are considered to be at high risk for serious complications from the flu, according to the KDHE.
    This includes young children, pregnant women, people who are 65 and older and anyone with chronic health conditions such as asthma, heart disease and diabetes.
    Vaccination also is said to be especially important for people who are in regular contact with babies who are less than 6 months old. Babies this age are too young to be vaccinated and more vulnerable to complications from flu, according to the KDHE.
    People also can avoid spreading the flu by covering coughs and sneezes, washing their hands and staying home when they're sick.
    State health officials report that this flu season has seen a re-emergence of a 2009 flu strain that commonly is referred to as swine flu.

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