State death toll continues to climb
Five more Kansans died last week from infection with the H1N1 influenza virus, bringing the state death toll to 17.
“Pandemic H1N1 remains the greatest flu threat facing Kansas and the nation,” Kansas State Health Officer Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips said. “As sad as this and the other deaths are, they remind us how fortunate we are that a vaccine against this virus exists, that all of us will eventually have the opportunity to become vaccinated, and how important it is that we take steps to reduce the risk of transmitting flu viruses.”
H1N1 vaccines have arrived in Marion County for distribution but only those who are considered high risk are allowed to receive them.
According to Marion County Health Department Director Diedre Serene, there are H1N1 vaccines still available for pregnant women, children 6 months to 4 years of age, health care workers who are in direct contact with patients, children ages 5 through 18 with underlying medical conditions, and household members and day care providers who care for children 6 months and younger.
Centre USD 397 students received the vaccine Tuesday.
A second round of H1N1 vaccine will be available to school children in the coming weeks for those who require a second dose and for those who were unable to receive the first dose.
Anyone who wants the vaccine and qualifies to receive it should contact the health department at (620) 382-2550 to make an appointment.
Seasonal flu vaccines will be available from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 5 p.m. Nov. 18 at the health department, 230 E. Main, Marion.
The health department is closed today for Veterans Day.