COVID-19 and flu shots graphic

MANSFIELD -- Richland Public Health flu vaccines will be available by appointment starting in October through our Public Health Clinic. Call 419-774-4700 to schedule flu shots for you and your family.

Everyone from age six months and up should get an annual flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting your flu shot in October, but if you miss that month, get one as soon as possible.

Influenza is a contagious disease that spreads around the United States every year, usually between October and May. Flu is caused by influenza viruses, and is spread mainly by coughing, sneezing, and close contact. Anyone can get the flu. Flu strikes suddenly and can last several days.

Symptoms vary by age, but can include: fever/chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, and runny or stuffy nose.

Flu is more dangerous for some people. Infants and young children, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions or a weakened immune system are at greatest risk.

“No one likes to be sick. Getting the flu will cause you to miss work or school, along with your favorite activities,” said Amy Schmidt, Director of Nursing at Richland Public Health. “You might also pass the flu on to your family, friends, or co-workers. Protect yourself and others. Get your flu shot.”

According to the CDC, cold and flu season runs from approximately October to May, with a peak somewhere between December and February. Flu can be widespread, with up to 49 million cases each year in the United States.

Last year, the flu season was very mild due to restrictions in place for COVID-19 such as masking, social distancing, closing of mass events, and remote learning for schools.

With most of those restrictions not in place, health experts are predicting a rise in flu cases. That’s worrisome, considering the strain hospitals are already experiencing with COVID cases. It’s another reason to make sure to get your flu shot in October.

For additional information about influenza, visit the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/ or talk with your pediatrician or family physician. For special home-bound services, call 419-774-4540.

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