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Keep the coughing, sneezing at bay; Get your immunizations!

Jacksonville Daily Progress - 12/18/2018

Dec. 18--Achoo! Has winter found you with a cold, cough or other illness?

Local health officials say to not forget immunizations!

"The best way to fight the flu is to get an annual flu shot," said Nurse Rhonda Simon, immunizations branch manager with the Cherokee County Department of Public Health.

The Cherokee County Public Health Department offers flu shots for $25 for those who are uninsured.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu vaccination prevented an estimated 5.3 million influenza illnesses, 2.6 million influenza-associated medical visits, and 85,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations during the 2016-2017 flu season.

The flu vaccine works by stimulating your body's immune system to make antibodies to attack the flu virus after it enters your body. Antibodies are proteins that recognize and fight off germs. It takes 10 to 14 days for your immunity to build up after you have had the flu shot.

Cherokee County Public Health Department (CCPHD) recommends everyone six months of age and older get a flu shot every year. Flu vaccination is particularly important for people who are at a high risk for serious complications from the flu. This includes children younger than five years, people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, and pregnant women.

Simon said pneumococcal disease can lead to serious infections such as pneumonia and meningitis. There are two types of vaccines that help prevent pneumococcal disease: PCV13 (Prevnar 13) and PPSV (Pneumovax23).

She said children are routinely given PCV13 at ages 2,4,and 6 months with a booster dose at age 12 to 15 months. Adults aged 65 and older who have not already had a dose of PCV 13 should receive one followed by a dose of PPSV at least one year later.

PPSV is also recommended for people ages 2 to 64 years who have certain conditions. Some of those conditions are cigarette smokers aged 19 and older, chronic cardiovascular disease, chronic pulmonary disease, alcoholism, diabetes, chronic liver disease, chronic renal failure and immune compromising conditions.

"Check with your health care provider to see if PCV 13 or PPSV is recommended for you," Simon advised.

Another type of immunization that's important is for babies and those who are expecting.

If you are pregnant, talk with your ob-gyn or midwife about getting the whooping cough shot called Tdap. CDC recommends getting it during the 27th through 36th week of each pregnancy, preferably during the earlier part of this time period. After you get the shot, your body creates protective antibodies and passes some of them to your baby before birth. This early protection is important because babies don't start receiving their own vaccine until they are 2 months old.

Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a very contagious disease that is most serious for babies.

According to the CDC, whooping cough can cause babies to stop breathing. You can help protect babies from whooping cough by getting vaccinated and making sure your baby gets vaccinated, too.

Young babies with whooping cough can develop pneumonia (lung infection), have trouble breathing, or even die. About half of babies younger than 1 who get whooping cough end up in the hospital.

Here are some other winter health precautions from www.nationwide.com:

Stay indoors during the storm.

Walk carefully on snowy, icy walkways.

Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside.

Stay dry. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits the cold rapidly.


(c)2018 the Jacksonville Daily Progress (Jacksonville, Texas)

Visit the Jacksonville Daily Progress (Jacksonville, Texas) at www.jacksonvilleprogress.com

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