Flu Vaccine Now Available At Highland And Bath County Health Departments

Monterey and Warm Springs, VA – Influenza vaccine is now available at local health departments in the Central Shenandoah District which includes the Bath and Highland Health Departments. You may now call for an appointment or stop by your health department to get vaccinated. The vaccine is available in both the nasal mist and injectable forms, and is recommended for everyone age six months or older.

Dr. Douglas Larsen, Director of the Central Shenandoah Health District, reminds Highland and Bath County residents that flu vaccine is effective. He says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. Dr. Larson continues by confirming that the flu vaccine is safe.

Dr. Larson says the virus in the flu vaccine shot is dead. The virus in the nasal spray is alive, but a weakended version of the virus. He says both vaccines stimulate the immune system to protect you against the flu, but do not cause flu illness.

In addition to getting vaccinated, there are other easy steps you can follow to limit the spread of flu. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and then throw the tissue away. Wash your hands often with soap and water if available, or use an alcohol-based hand rub.

Don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth. Avoid close contact with sick people, and stay home if you are sick, until you are fever-free – without fever-reducing medications – for at least 24 hours. And take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them, to lessen symptoms and speed your recovery.

At the present time, Virginia doctors are reporting relatively few cases of flu across the state. Dr. Larsen emphasizes that flu is a serious, contagious and unpredictable disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

The Highland County Health Department accepts walk-ins, but prefers that people call for an appointment. The cost of the vaccine is $30.00 and the health department can bill health insurance such as Anthem, Healthsouth, Medicaid and Medicare. People can also pay with cash or check.

The Highland Health Department is open Monday through Friday from 8am to 4:30pm. Patrons can choose from the nasal spray vaccine or the injection. The nasal spray is only available to those between the ages of 2 and 49. The Highland Health department is located in Monterey and can be reached at 540-468-2270.

The Bath County Health Department is in the Courthouse in Warm Springs and can be reached at 540-839-7246.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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