The Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps (WVAC) is making a big local push to encourage everyone six months and older to get flu shots. With flu season now here, they’re reminding everyone that flu can be fatal. In the hopes that everyone in Wilton will pledge to get vaccinated this season, WVAC has coordinated the schedule of flu clinics in the area as well as put together some important information.
[colored_box color=”blue”]Fall WILTON Flu Clinics—Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County
October 1, 10-11:30 a.m.—Wilton Senior Center, 180 School Rd.
October 3, 2:30-4:30 p.m.—Wilton Town Hall *TOWN OF WILTON EMPLOYEES ONLY!
October 5, 9-10:30 a.m.—Wilton Family Y, 404 Danbury Rd.
November 5, 10-11:30 a.m.—Wilton Senior Center, 180 School Rd.
November 9, 10-11:30 a.m.—Wilton Library, 137 Old Ridgefield Rd.
- Clinics are first-come, first-served.
- Open to age 3-years-old or older. (under 18 must be with parent/legal guardian)
- Cost is $40, payable by cash or check OR billed directly to Medicare Part B, Aetna or Anthem. Please bring insurance cards.
- Pneumonia vaccine is available to people 65 or older who have never received it over the age of 65. Cost is $80 and billable to Medicare Part B.
- The schedule is subject to change based on vaccine availability. [/colored_box]
“I have admitted countless individuals to the hospital due to complications from the flu, some of whom could have avoided it altogether if they had gotten vaccinated” says Dr. Brian McGovern, an emergency department physician at Norwalk Hospital and a Wilton resident.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The WVAC message is that the best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
According to the CDC, yearly flu vaccination should begin in September, or as soon as the vaccine is available, and continue throughout the flu season which can last as late as May. This is because the timing and duration of flu seasons vary. While flu season can begin early as October, most of the time seasonal flu activity peaks in January, February or later.
“Even if you don’t think that the flu vaccine will do much or anything for you, do it for your family, your friends, your work colleagues, your neighbors, because it means that you will be less likely—actually, unlikely—to pass the influenza virus on to others and make them sick. So, think of it as a gift to them, if not to yourself,” said Dr. Michael Carius, Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Norwalk Hospital.
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (very tired)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
Flu is unpredictable and how severe it is can vary widely from one season to the next depending on many things. Certain people are at greater risk for serious complications if they get the flu. This includes older people, young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease and persons who live in facilities like nursing homes.
Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.
Over a period of 30 years, between 1976 and 2006, estimates of flu-associated deaths in the United States range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people.
For additional information, call the Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County Flu Infoline at 203.834.6341, ext. 444.
The Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation. Information: wiltonambulance.org.