Carter County Health Department urges early flu vaccination to prevent spread

Published 11:53 am Friday, October 6, 2023

The Carter County Health Department is encouraging Tennesseans not to procrastinate in getting their annual flu vaccinations, emphasizing it as the most effective way to prevent the spread of the flu virus.
The initiative aims to protect at-risk groups, including the elderly, individuals with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, and young children, who are all susceptible to severe complications if they contract the flu. County Director Caroline Chinouth stressed the importance of immediate action, saying, “Flu activity is expected to rise both in Tennessee and nationwide, so don’t delay getting a flu vaccine.”
All Tennessee residents aged six months and older are eligible for the flu vaccine. On a national scale, increasing the number of flu vaccinations can help prevent 7.5 million illnesses, 105,000 hospitalizations, and 6,300 deaths annually. The flu vaccine is recognized as both safe and effective, offering protection against the most common circulating flu viruses and mitigating the flu’s most severe symptoms.

The Carter County Health Department is committed to the cause, offering free flu vaccines to the public. The event, titled Fight Flu ’23, will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on November 1 at Elizabethton High School (907 Jason Witten Way, Elizabethton). The initiative joins more than 100 Tennessee Department of Health locations across the state where flu vaccines will be administered free of charge, beginning November 1. No appointment is necessary, and the public can visit TDH’s Fight Flu webpage for additional locations and information.
Fight Flu ’23 serves as an annual large-scale preparedness exercise for the TDH, involving medical staff and teams from county health departments statewide. The exercise enables them to practice their emergency response plans while offering free flu vaccines to the public.

The best way to prevent the flu from spreading is to avoid close contact with infected individuals. If you fall ill with the flu, it’s crucial to minimize contact with others and stay at home. Effective hand hygiene, including regular handwashing with soap and water, is recommended. Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing is essential.
In cases where flu symptoms emerge, such as muscle aches, fever, fatigue, sore throat, cough, headaches, and congestion, it’s advised to consult with a healthcare provider. They may prescribe antiviral medications to alleviate symptoms and shorten the duration of illness. These antivirals are not available over the counter and should be taken strictly under medical supervision.
The Carter County Health Department emphasizes the importance of early flu vaccination to safeguard the health and well-being of the community.

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