Panhandle Health District prepares for flu season in Idaho

(STORY IMAGE:KHQ.COM)

HAYDEN, Idaho -It’s already been a busy few weeks for staff at the Panhandle Health District.

Doctors say in the last two weeks, over 100 people have come to get their flu shots, and that’s just at the Hayden office.

This comes after one of the worst flu seasons in recent memory.

According to the Panhandle Health District, 37 people died from the flu last year in north Idaho alone, which makes it the deadliest flu season in a decade.

One reason why, the flu shot was effective in only one out of every three cases.

Doctors say the vaccine in this years flu shot has two new strands for better protection.

“It does take a week or so for your body to develop antibodies after the flu shot so it's not too early to get your flu shot now,” David Hylsky, a staff epidemiologist at the Panhandle Health District said.

The health district says if you’re going to get a flu shot there, medical insurance, including Medicaid and Medicare Part B are accepted.

Most insurance cover the cost of flu shots. 

Without insurance, a children’s flu shot is $20.00, and an adult flu shot is $23.00. High dose flu shots are available for those 65 and older.

Panhandle Health District offers flu vaccination for children, adults and seniors.

In addition to your annual flu shot, you can protect yourself by washing your hands often and avoiding people with cold or flu symptoms. If you have flu symptoms, stay home to prevent spreading the virus to others. And as always, cover your coughs and sneezes.

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