Public Health Emerging Issues Sept. 27

GET READY FOR FLU SEASON WITH VACCINATION

  • Flu season is just around the corner and last year, Mesa County had 168 hospitalizations due to the virus.
  • Mesa County has already seen a hospitalization due to flu, this flu season.
  • The best way to avoid getting sick is to get your flu vaccination by the end of October.
    • Getting your flu vaccination protects you, but it also protects those around you with underlying medical conditions.
  • Mesa County Public Health will host adult flu vaccination clinics Oct. 18 and 25 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Community Services Building, 510 29 ½ Road.
  • Everyone six months of age and older should get the flu vaccination.
  • You can still get a flu vaccination, even if you have an egg allergy. Talk to your health care provider about a flu vaccination that works for you.
  • On top of getting your flu vaccination, you can stop the spread of flu with everyday preventive actions:
    • Wash your hands with soap and water to reduce the spread of germs.
    • Limit contact with sick people.
    • Stay home if you are sick.
    • If you are sick, cover your cough.
  • Contact your health care provider to make an appointment for a flu vaccination or call Mesa County Public Health at (970) 248-6900.
    • We work with clients on a sliding scale basis. Don’t let cost be a barrier between you and your health this flu season.

PREVENT HEPATITIS A WITH VACCINATION

  • An outbreak of hepatitis A in a homeless population in southern California is shining light on the dangers of the disease.
    • Colorado recently had two cases reported among individuals who are homeless and had ties to southern California.
  • Hepatitis A is transmitted person-to-person by the fecal-oral route, which emphasizes the importance of hygienic practices such as proper handwashing.
  • Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection.
    • Illness from hepatitis A generally begins about 28 days after exposure and symptoms include fatigue, stomach pain, jaundice, dark urine and clay-colored stool.
    • Hepatitis A can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious illness that lasts several months.
  • The best way to protect against hepatitis A is to get vaccinated. The vaccination is recommended for:
    • All children at age 1.
    • Travelers to countries that have higher rates of hepatitis A.
      • Contact Mesa County Public Health at 248-6900 for information on traveler vaccines.
    • People who work in the food or restaurant industry.
    • Users of injection and non-injection illegal drugs.
    • People with chronic liver diseases, such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C.
    • People who are treated with clotting-factor concentrates.
    • People who work with hepatitis A infected animals or in a hepatitis A research laboratory.
    • Men who have sexual contact with other men.
    • People who are homeless and people who have frequent, ongoing close contact with people who are homeless.
  • Hepatitis A is usually spread through:
    • Contaminated food or water.
    • Person to person contact.
      • When an infected person does not wash his or her hands properly after going to the bathroom and touches other objects or food.
      • When a parent or caregiver does not properly wash his or her hands after changing diapers or cleaning up the stool of an infected person.
      • When someone engages in certain sexual activities, such as oral-anal contact with an infected person.
    • If you start to show symptoms of hepatitis A, contact your health care provider.

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