First flu case reported in Orange County; free vaccinations offered

October 24, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The first locally acquired case of influenza in Orange County was reported by the O.C. Health Care Agency Thursday.

The agency urges people to get vaccinated, and is offering free seasonal influenza vaccinations for people 6 months old and up who don't have a medical provider or health insurance. The shots are available on a walk-in basis.

The shots are available every Thursday beginning on November 7, 2013, from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 1725 West 17th Street in Santa Ana. The clinic will be closed on Thanksgiving.

In addition, there are two free flu shot clinics offered on Friday by the O.C. Health Care Agency for those 3 years old and up at Friends Church, 5141 Lakeview Avenue, Yorba Linda, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The other is at Saint Nicholas Catholic Church, 24252 El Toro Road in Laguna Woods from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday.

You cannot receive a flu shot if

- You are sick on the day of vaccination

- You are allergic to eggs

- You have previously had a reaction to a flu shot

- You have a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Influenza is a seasonal contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Flu symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills and fatigue. Flu illness can be severe, leading to missed school or work, hospitalization, and even death. Flu virus is mainly spread through droplets from coughs and sneezes. Remember these important everyday steps to help stop the spread of germs:

- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue (or sleeve if you are caught by surprise)

- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water (or alcohol-based hand sanitizer if not available)

- Stay home if you are sick (at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medications)

Flu vaccine is available from health care providers, clinics, and pharmacies throughout Orange County. The most current local information, including vaccination locations, is available 24/7 at www.ochealthinfo.com/flu or by calling the Health Referral Line at (800) 564-8448, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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