Today at health office
While supplies last, Marion County Health Department will be administering seasonal flu shots from 9 a.m. to noon today at Marion County Health Department.
This afternoon, by appointment only, the health department will administer H1N1 vaccines, while supplies last, to the following priority groups:
- Pregnant women
- People who live with or provide care for infants less than 6 months of age (parents, siblings, and day care providers)
- Health care and emergency medical service personnel who have direct contact with patients or infectious materials
- Children 6 months to 4 years of age
- Children and adolescents 5 to 18 who have medical conditions such as chronic pulmonary conditions, including asthma; cardiovascular, renal, hepatic, cognitive, neurologic/neuromuscular, hematoligic, or metabolic disorders including diabetes mellitus, or immunosuppression.
Call the health department at (620) 382-2550 or (800) 305-8848 to schedule an appointment.
Follow precautions while waiting for vaccine
Thousands of Kansans want to receive the H1N1 vaccine but makers of the vaccine have found that production of the vaccine’s active ingredient in their laboratories is occurring much slower than anyone expected.
According to Kansas State Health Officer and KDHE Director of Health Jason Eberhart-Phillips, about 22.4 million doses have been produced thus far which is well below anticipated levels.
“At the same time, the level of disease due to the pandemic — including hospitalizations and deaths — has been steadily rising,” he said. “The shortage of vaccine is both frustrating and a bit scary.”
Marion County Health Department personnel have inoculated most students in Marion County schools but ran out of the vaccine before everyone was served.
To date, Kansas Department of Health and Environment has confirmed 14 deaths of Kansans after being infected with the H1N1 virus.
The latest victims were a 72-year-old from northeast Kansas; women 53 and 52 years old, respectively, from the Wichita metropolitan area; a 39-year-old man from the Kansas City metropolitan area; and a 51-year-old woman from the Topeka metropolitan area.
Symptoms of infection of the pandemic H1N1 virus are similar to the symptoms of the seasonal flu and include fever of 100 degrees or greater, body aches, coughing, sore throat, respiratory congestions, and in some cases, diarrhea and vomiting. Most people who have been ill with pandemic H1N1 influenza have recovered without medical treatment.
However, some people develop serious complications that require hospitalization or may lead to death. Although serious complications are more likely among people with certain underlying chronic health conditions, this pandemic influenza virus has caused serious complications and deaths among people without those factors.
KDHE is no longer accepting specimens from those who see doctors with symptoms.
Individuals who experience severe illnesses or who are at high risk of complications from H1N1 influenza infection, including children less than 5 years of age, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and heart disease, should contact their health care providers.
Larger quantities of the vaccine will become available this month.
“Eventually there will be enough vaccine for everyone in Kansas who wants it,” Eberhart-Phillips said.
Until vaccines are available, Kansas Department of Health and Environment advise people to follow these recommendations:
- Frequently and thoroughly wash hands.
- Cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
- Reduce the frequency, proximity, and duration of contact with others, which is called social distancing. People can cut the risk of catching the flu by simply staying away from or limiting time in schools, child care centers, work, and in the community.
- Monitor family for symptoms of the influenza. Remain home at the first sign of illness. Try to limit interaction between family members who are ill and those who are well. Remember individuals with symptoms of influenza should stay isolated and not return to school or work for at least 24 hours after fever is gone without taking fever-reducing medicine.
- At work, try to create as much space as possible between workstations and employees. Always model good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
“Until there is enough vaccine to put an end to this pandemic once and for all in Kansas, please join me in doing what we can to reduce the spread of H1N1 flu,” Eberhart-Phillips said.