Mesa County Health Department is reporting increased influenza activity in Mesa County including hospitalizations, testing, and outpatient doctor visits. This increased activity serves as an important reminder that it is time to receive an annual flu vaccine if you have not already done so.
It takes up to two weeks for individuals to develop maximum protection from the influenza vaccine and since it may take up to six weeks for influenza to spread in a community, it is recommended that individuals who want to decrease their chances of getting influenza or developing the complications of influenza receive their flu vaccine.
Influenza begins abruptly with fever, chills, and body aches. It is also characterized by a dry hacking cough, sore throat, and watery eyes. Although influenza is a respiratory infection, the whole body can be affected. On average, people who get the flu spend two days in bed and have another four days of restricted activity, including time away from work. Most recover in 1 to 2 weeks. Mesa County Health Department recommends staying home when sick, washing hands frequently and covering mouth when coughing to avoid spreading the illness to others.
Complications of influenza include sinus infections, ear infections, bronchitis and pneumonia. Influenza and pneumonia combined are the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those at greatest risk of complications from influenza include individuals over the age of 65, those with heart, lung, and kidney disease; those with diabetes and other chronic disease; children on chronic aspirin therapy; and those with weakened immune systems.
Mesa County Health Department is offering the seasonal flu vaccine on a walk-in basis at the Grand Junction office located at 510 29 ½ Road on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:00am to 5:00pm, Tuesdays from 9:00am to 6:00pm, Thursdays from 8:00am to 2:00pm and Fridays from 8:00am to 12:00pm and at the Fruita office located at 215 N. Plum on Wednesdays from 8:00am to 4:00pm and Thursdays from 8:00am to 1:00pm. Appointments are also available by calling 248-6900.
Mesa County Health Department is offering the injectable flu vaccine for $20 and the flu mist (nasal) for $25 if paid at time of service. Mesa County Health Department can bill Rocky Mountain Health Plans, Humana, Medicare part B, Railroad Medicare, Medicaid, and CNIC.
For current information please call the Mesa County Health Department’s pre-recorded information line at (970) 248-6989 or visit www.health.mesacounty.us.