To the editor:
As part of our joint responsibility to promote the health of our community, this letter is meant to inform you of efforts under way to reduce the incidence of H1N1 influenza within our community. First however, here are a few facts about the disease:
The H1N1 flu virus and the seasonal flu virus are separate strains of influenza; you can be exposed to both strains of the virus during the flu season.
Since the H1N1 flu virus spreads just like the seasonal flu, the advice to cover your cough and wash your hands remains good advice.
The disease affects some individuals more severely than others, particularly the young and certain individuals with health problems that put them at high risk for the complications of influenza.
If you get the flu, we encourage you to stay home from work until you have been free of fever for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.
A seasonal flu vaccine is available now at multiple locations in the Lawrence-Douglas County area. Supplies of H1N1 vaccine are anticipated to begin arriving in October and to continue until the demand for the vaccine has been met. The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department and its community partners are preparing for vaccination clinics aimed initially at those of us most at risk.
Please be patient and get vaccinated at the appropriate time. We expect to have enough vaccine for all who wish to receive it. Information on the location and time for clinics will be posted on the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department's Web site at www.ldchealth.org.