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Lake County Health Department encourages residents to get flu shots

Last year, six deaths and 49 intensive care unit admissions were associated with complications brought on by influenza in Lake County.

People with flu can spread it to others up to about six feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.

The Health Department is offering the flu vaccine by appointment only at the Immunizations Clinic at 2303 Dodge Avenue in Waukegan. The flu vaccine is available through a needle or a nasal spray. While anyone 6 months of age or older can receive the shot, the nasal spray vaccine (LAIV) is for healthy persons 2 to 49 years of age who are not pregnant.

A high-dose vaccine is available for the elderly and a vaccine manufactured without the use of eggs is available for those with egg allergies. The cost of the flu vaccine for people 18 years of age and younger is covered by All Kids and Medicaid. Medicaid covers the vaccine cost for some adults and Medicare part B covers the cost of the flu vaccine for all card holders. For more specific information visit: http://health.lakecountyil.gov/Population/Pages/Influenza.aspx or contact the Health Department at: (847) 377-8470.

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