Press release from La Paz County Health Department
The La Paz County Health Department has completed this year’s school based influenza clinics. For the second year in a row, the health department has offered the influenza vaccine to children in the local schools. With the assistance of each school, informational consent packets were mailed to parents with children enrolled in pubic school. The informational consent packets were returned to the school and those children with parental consent were given an influenza vaccination. Children under age 9 should have a second flu shot 30 days later if this was the first dose of flu vaccine they have ever received in their lives. Parents can bring their children to the health department on Tuesdays for 8 – 11 am and 1 – 4pm. If you are not sure about the status of your child’s influenza vaccine please call the La Paz County Health Department.
Influenza in children of all ages can cause severe infections leading to missed school, doctor visits and hospitalizations. Hospitalization rates for preschoolers are similar to the hospitalization rates among high-risk adults. Public Health officials and Children’s experts stress the importance of vaccinations for:
- Everyone 6 months and older with chronic diseases of the heart, lung (including asthma) or kidneys, diabetes, or immunosuppression including HIV infection
- Children (6 months -18 years of age) who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy
- Children who are household contacts of other children or adults with high-risk medical conditions because children most often are the ones who bring flu into a household
- Children aged 6-23 months who are at substantially increased risk for influenza-related hospitalizations
- Household contacts and out-of-home caretakers of young children up to 23 months of age (particularly those caring for children age 0-6 months who are to young to be vaccinated)
In addition, flu vaccine may also be used in consultation with a health care provider for any other persons aged 6 months and older who wish to reduce their risk of influenza infection.
Influenza is a highly contagious illness causing an average of 36,000 deaths and 114,000 hospitalizations per year in the United States; pneumonia is the most common complication in high-risk groups. Influenza, unlike the common cold, has a swift onset of severe symptoms beginning with two to seven days of fever, headache, muscle aches, extreme fatigue, runny nose and sore throat, and a cough that is often severe and may last seven days or more.