FLU NEWS From Our Public Health Nurse

Flu News

As of late January, national levels of flu-like illness remain high and have been elevated for eleven weeks. It’s too early to know whether the season has peaked or whether flu activity will continue to increase through the next several months.   Some good news is that the current flu vaccine covers all strains that are circulating so far this season.  Throughout flu season (October-May) the Massachusetts Department of Public Health publishes a Weekly Flu Report (available at www.mass.gov) indicating the impact of flu-like illness. Frequent hand washing and getting an annual flu shot are the two best ways to avoid getting sick.  For the past many years, South County Senior Center has collaborated with the Deerfield Board of Health as members of the Cooperative Public Health Service of the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG), Franklin County Medical Reserve Corps and dedicated community volunteers like James and Lorna Henderer, and Barbara Taylor to offer a community flu clinic at the Senior Center.  Adults are invited to attend the senior center flu clinic where high dose flu vaccine is offered as well as standard flu vaccine.  Residents of all ages are invited to any other FRCOG flu clinics at many community sites (including a weekend clinic scheduled in Deerfield), and flu vaccine is also offered at regularly scheduled town nurse hours each Wednesday from 10-2 p.m. at the Town Offices.  Additionally, home visits are available to Deerfield residents unable to come to the clinics or by special arrangement with the Town Nurse.  This year 326 attendees at Deerfield clinics were protected from flu.  There is no fee - only your insurance card is needed.  If you haven’t already, please plan to join us next year!  By mid-September the entire clinic schedule is accessed at www.frcog.org or by link from Deerfield’s website. Need more information?  Please contact FRCOG Regional Public Health Nurse Lisa White at 413-665-1400 x 114 or at lwhite@frcog.org