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Health Department Offers More Flu Clinics

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The Denton County Health Department has scheduled additional H1N1 flu clinics this month.

The current flu season began in September and will continue through April. Traditionally, seasonal flu peaks in Denton County in late January or early February and health officials are unsure how the addition of H1N1 flu cases will affect the trend.

While numbers of H1N1 cases are down from its peak, the number of pediatric deaths from H1N1 is three times the number that normally occurs from seasonal influenza, health officials said.

Free H1N1 influenza vaccinations will be available at several upcoming clinics:

•    Tuesday, Jan. 26, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the MLK Community Center, 1300 Wilson Street in Denton.

•    Tuesday, Jan. 26, from 4 p.m. to 8:00 pm. at Indian Gymnasium, 105 Berry St. in Sanger.

•    Saturday, Jan. 30, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Northwest High School, 2301 Texan Drive in Justin.

In accordance with the Texas Department of State Health Services, the health department has relaxed the H1N1 vaccination requirements, allowing H1N1 flu clinics to vaccinate members of the general public along with high risk groups.

The key risk populations include those who are at higher risk of disease or complications, those who are likely to come in contact with H1N1 flu, and those who could infect young infants, including: 

•    Pregnant women
•    People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age
•    Health care and emergency medical services personnel
•    Persons between the ages of 6 months through 24 years
•    People from ages 25 through 64 who are at higher risk for H1N1 flu because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.

Vaccinations are the best method to prevent influenza, but there are many everyday actions people can take to stay healthy this cold and flu season, officials said. First, it is important to stay home when sick and to keep your distance from others who are sick. It is also crucially important to make thorough and frequent hand washing a priority. Covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze can help you protect those around you. Lastly, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to prevent germ-contaminated hands from infecting you.

For updates on the H1N1 flu pandemic, call the Denton County Flu Hotline at (940) 349-4358 or visit http://www.dentoncounty.com/health.

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