For Immediate Release
Contact: Scott Oxarart
775.328.2414 or 775.276.1021
Reno, Nev. Oct. 4, 2019 – Despite Flu Season officially beginning this week according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), cases of influenza are already being reported and the Washoe County Health District (WCHD) is strongly encouraging residents to get a flu shot immediately.
Free flu shots will be available at the Truckee Meadows Healthy Communities Family Health Festival on Wednesday, Oct. 16. Flu shots will be provided to those 6 months and older while supplies last. The event, which offers a host of free health services and information, is from 3:30-6:30 p.m. at the North Valleys High School gymnasium.
According to the CDC and Washoe County influenza and vaccination data:
- During the 2018-19 flu season, 13 influenza-associated deaths were reported in Washoe County
- 34 percent of adults in Nevada got a flu shot last year, which was the worst rate in the country
- 52 percent of children 6 months-17 years old in Nevada received flu shots last year, which ranked fourth-worst in the nation
- About 36,000 adults in the U.S. die per year from the flu
“The first, and most important, step to protecting yourself and your family from flu viruses is the flu shot,” said Kevin Dick, Washoe County Health District Officer. “Getting a flu shot is very convenient. Most pharmacies and grocery stores offer vaccinations and will accept insurance cards. We cannot overstate the importance of the flu shot.”
No vaccine is 100% effective, but if you get a flu shot it can also reduce the severity of symptoms if you do catch the flu.
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms: fever, chills, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea.
The single best way to avoid seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but there are other preventive measures everyone should practice to ward off the flu and other illnesses:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Cough and sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue
- Wash your hands often
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
The Health District's Immunization Program offers flu shots and a range of other immunization information. Other area vaccination and clinic information can be found on the Immunize Nevada website.
The Washoe County Health District has jurisdiction over all public health matters in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County through the policy-making Washoe County District Board of Health. The District consists of five divisions: Administrative Health Services, Air Quality Management, Community and Clinical Health Services, Environmental Health Services and Epidemiology & Public Health Preparedness. To learn more, visit https://www.washoecounty.us/health/