Eastern Shore Health District has confirmed the early arrival of seasonal influenza activity

September 19, 2014

Eastern Shore Health District has confirmed the early arrival of seasonal influenza activity to the Eastern Shore of Virginia and advises residents to protect themselves and their families. CDC recommends a yearly influenza vaccinefor everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. While there are many different influenza viruses, the seasonal influenza vaccine is designed to protect against the main influenza viruses that research suggests will cause the most illness during the influenza season. People should begin getting vaccinated as soon as possible. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the influenza.

Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk for serious influenza complications, and their close contacts. People considered high risk are children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people who have medical conditions including:

  • Asthma
  • Neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions
  • Chronic lung disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] and cystic fibrosis)
  • Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)
  • Blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease)
  • Endocrine disorders (such as diabetes mellitus)
  • Kidney disorders
  • Liver disorders
  • Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
  • Weakened immune system due to disease or medication (such as people with HIV or AIDS, or cancer, or those on chronic steroids)
  • People younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy
  • People who are morbidly obese (Body Mass Index, or BMI, of 40 or greater)

Seasonal Influenza vaccine is currently available at the following locations:

  • Chincoteague Community Health Center
  • Atlantic Community Health Center
  • Onley Community Health Center
  • Franktown Community Health Center
  • Bayview Community Health Center
  • CVS Pharmacy – Onley
  • Rite Aid Pharmacy – Onley and Exmore
  • Rayfield’s Pharmacy – Nassawadox and Cape Charles
  • Riverside Cape Charles Medical Center –High dose for 65 and older only
  • Accomack County Health Department –18 and under only uninsured or underinsured
  • Northampton County Health Department – 18 and under only uninsured or underinsured

Additional shipments of flu vaccine are coming in to other local physician offices and pharmacies every week.

In addition to getting vaccinated, you can take everyday preventive actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others. For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/ .