The beginning of 2010 has brought a renewed focus to H1N1 influenza prevention in Denton County. Protection from H1N1 influenza continues to be a high priority for Denton County Health Department. To ensure that each resident desiring H1N1 influenza vaccinations is able to receive it, Denton County Health Department has scheduled two clinics this week. The clinic dates, times, and locations are as follows:
• Thursday, January 7, 2010 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Rosemeade Recreation Center. The recreation center is located at 1330 E. Rosemeade Parkway in Carrollton.
• Friday, January 8, 2010 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Lewisville Recreation Center. The recreation center is located at 191 Civic Circle in Lewisville.
In accordance with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Denton County Health Department has relaxed the H1N1 vaccination requirements. The “key risk groups” for H1N1 influenza, set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have officially expanded to include members of the general public. Denton County will continue to allocate and outreach to those in the key risk groups to ensure that all who need the vaccine are able to receive it, but will also invite members of the general public to be vaccinated.
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. The key risk populations include:
• 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 of age
• People from ages 25 through 64 years who are at higher risk for H1N1 flu because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.
The number of H1N1 cases is down considerably from its peak, but it is important to note how serious a threat to children H1N1 has been. The number of pediatric deaths from H1N1 is three times the number that normally occurs from seasonal influenza. Parents are urged to assure that their children are protected from this vaccine preventable disease.
All Denton County Health Department H1N1 vaccinations are provided free of charge. 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. 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 the timeliest information on 2009 H1N1 flu, please call the Denton County Flu Hotline at (940) 349-4FLU (4358) or visit http://www.dentoncounty.com/health.