BERLIN, N.H.--()--Each year millions of Americans become sick with the flu, resulting not only in lost workplace productivity and days lost from school, but also countless hours of personal pain and suffering. Yet, despite these costs, many do not realize that their yearly battle with the flu could be prevented through a simple vaccination. That’s why Coos County Family Health Services and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire (Anthem) is teaming up to help North County residents fight the flu.
“Getting a flu shot is the single best thing you can do to reduce the likelihood of contracting the flu this season. Best of all, the shots are simple and virtually painless. When it comes to the flu vaccine, our message is simple: plan it, schedule it, get it.”
Thanks to a donation from Anthem, Coos County Family Health Services will hold three free flu clinics for adults (18 years of age and older) this fall, October 15th, 16th and November 6th from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. (while supply of vaccine lasts) at their offices at 133 Pleasant Street in Berlin.
“The flu is a common illness, but it is a serious illness,” said Richard P. Lafleur, M.D., F.A.C.P., Anthem’s medical director. “Getting a flu shot is the single best thing you can do to reduce the likelihood of contracting the flu this season. Best of all, the shots are simple and virtually painless. When it comes to the flu vaccine, our message is simple: plan it, schedule it, get it.”
Lou Addington, R.N., of Coos County Family Health Services, added, “Preventative medicine is cost effective medicine, and flu shots are a great way for families to protect themselves from illness and possible medical expenses related to the seasonal flu.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between five and 20 percent of all Americans are affected by the flu each season, and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized as a result of the flu each year. The CDC recommends all Americans six months of age and old and older receive an annual flu vaccination.
In addition to the importance of receiving a flu shot, Anthem and Coos County Family Health Services are also encouraging everyone to practice improved hygiene habits as an added layer of protection during cold and flu season.
“Things like covering your mouth when you cough, properly disposing of tissues, staying home when you’re sick, and practicing good hand washing habits really do make a difference and can help prevent the spread of illness,” noted Lafleur. “These should be everyday practices for everyone but cold and flu season is an especially good time to recommit to healthy habits for the sake of your health and the health of those around you.”
There are also a number of online resources available to those wishing to learn more about the flu, they include: flu.gov and cdc.gov. The state of New Hampshire has also set up a special website, please visit http://www.nh.gov/h1n1/index.htm.
For more information about the flu clinics at Coos County Family Health Services, please call (603) 752-2040.
About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Health Plans of New Hampshire, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.