Last year in 2009, there were a reported 2114 severe cases of the H1N1 flu virus, leading to 596 deaths across California. In Santa Clara County, there were 91 people hospitalized with severe symptoms, and 21 deaths as reported by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are uncertain what kind of flu season to expect this year, especially with the pandemic H1N1 flu virus that emerged last year. “While not certain, it is likely that 2009 H1N1 viruses and seasonal viruses will cause illness in the U.S. during the 2010-2011 flu season,” according to the CDC. They encourage
The “flu season” can vary, running into the year as May. The typical peak is often seen in the early months of January or February as reported by the CDC. In Santa Clara County, local medical facilities such as Kaiser are gearing up early with flu vaccines that also contain protection against the H1N1 virus according to KPweb. Flu vaccines are free to Kaiser members with walk-in service available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Free flu shots will be available to qualified community members through Walgreens and CVS Pharmacies. “Partner CVS Caremark will provide the flu vaccinations in their CVS and Walgreens pharmacies as well as their MinuteClinic locations to eligible community members who obtain a voucher from their local clinic,” as reported by Health News.
While getting the flu shot is one deterrent to preventing illness, other good practices are also encouraged by the CDPH :
–Wash your hands frequently
–Cover your mouth when you cough with a sleeve or a tissue
–Stay home if you are sick
The CDC reports the following are typical symptoms of the flu:
–Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
–Runny or stuffy nose
–Muscle or body aches
–Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
Residents of Santa Clara County can get flu shots is at the up-and-coming Open Air Health Fair and learn more about how to stay well this flu season.
Open Air Health Fair
October 9 & 10, 2010
12 noon – 5 pm
Location: Berryessa Flea Market
1590 Berryessa Rd., San Jose, CA 95133
Starting October 2, 2010-
For Adult and Pediatric Flu shots:
Medical Office Building, Lobby Level
275 Hospital ParkwayPDF File size: 116 KB
San Jose Medical Center
Others flu shot locations in San Jose:
CareMore Care Center
Gardner Family Health Network Health Centers