Laredo , TX – The City of Laredo Health Department (CLHD) has received 8,000 doses of Influenza A/H1N1 vaccine for Webb, Zapata, Jim Hogg and Duval Counties . This first batch of vaccine will be used for the City of Laredo’s Health Department high risk and primary care services, such as: for Title V maternity and well child, chronic disease prevention, Women Infants and Children (WIC), HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis patients. In addition, some high risk children without a provider, as well medical and healthcare emergency patient care personnel who have direct patient contact, will also be provided the vaccine, if available at this time.
By vaccinating these groups of persons, we can reduce the risk of exposure for some of the most vulnerable at-risk persons and assure we have a healthy, adequate health care workforce to provide health care for all. This is important as there are areas throughout the United States where 20-25% of the health care workforce is out due to respiratory illnesses. We want to avoid this to make sure we have enough health care providers for health care.
In addition, as has been stated previously, there are other local providers who have signed up for vaccine administration and have received some H1N1 vaccine. Therefore, we encourage the public to ask their physician/provider if they have vaccine.
Once adequate vaccine is available, additional Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) priority groups for H1N1 vaccine will be targeted: Pregnant women, all persons 6 months-24 years of age; persons 25-64 who have health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza; household contacts and caregivers for children younger than 6 months of age and healthcare and emergency medical services personnel. Although we continue to see younger persons get ill with FLU, most are milder than seasonal FLU and recover well. In addition, there are other respiratory illnesses and allergies that are also affecting persons, but it is not FLU. Yet, we must remain informed and continue with the best prevention as stated below and as soon as vaccine is available get vaccinated. We are waiting for the second (2nd) wave with seasonal flu and want to make sure all are taking appropriate precautions. Therefore we urge the public to follow these Precautions:
- If you are ill with fever (>100), sore throat, cough and flu like symptoms STAY HOME until you are 24 hours free of fever without taking any fever reducing medication.
- If you are part of a high risk group or do not better in 2-3 days call your physician.
- Do not immediately go to the Emergency Room as we do not want to burden the health care system with the “worried well” and those with colds, upper respiratory infections and/or uncomplicated FLU.
- FLU is sudden, has fever as above and should last from the minimum of 3 days to as much as 7-10 days. If you have been exposed to FLU that does not mean you will get ill. Practice good hygiene, as stated below and get vaccinated to protect yourself.
- If you cough, cough into your elbow, sleeve, or into tissues. Wash your hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.
- Use alcohol-based hand cleaners often.
- If you feel sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. Call your doctor.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Do not share personal items that may be contaminated with respiratory germs.
- Do not share food and/or drinks especially at gatherings.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it and wash your hands.
For more information regarding H1N1 and seasonal flu, please contact 311 or the City of Laredo Health Department’s flu hotline at (956) 795-4921.