Health Network Reminds Residents of Flu Hotline
October 15, 2007
Franklin Community Health Network (FCHN) is reminding residents that it has an influenza (flu) hotline for greater Franklin County. The recorded hotline offers information about influenza prevention, local flu vaccine availability, public flu shot clinics, and recipient priorities as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The hotline number is 207-779-3147.
The following message is a sample of the type of recording callers may hear: "You have reached the Franklin Community Health Network Flu Hotline. This message was recorded on October 16. We expect a complete supply of flu vaccine this season. Physician offices that are part of Franklin Community Health Network began immunizing their patients on October 15. Remember, there are several things you can do to stay healthy: wash your hands often; cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue or sleeve; and stay home if you are ill."
In general, anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting the flu can get vaccinated. However, it is recommended by CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) that certain people should get vaccinated each year. They are either people who are at high risk of having serious flu complications or people who live with or care for those at high risk for serious complications.
People who should get vaccinated each year are:
- People at high risk for complications from the flu, including: children aged 6 months until their 5th birthday; pregnant women; people 50 years of age and older; people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions; and people who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
- People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including: household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu (see above); household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age; and healthcare workers.
"Last year over 150 calls were received by the flu hotline in October and November alone," according to Jill Gray, FCHN Community Relations Manager. "It is expected that the flu hotline will be heavily used again this flu season and updates will be incorporated as they become available."
According to the CDC, as of October 6, 2007, influenza activity was reported as sporadic in seven states (Oregon, California, Utah, Florida, Louisiana, Indiana, New York). Most states, including Maine, reported no influenza activity.
For additional information on influenza and how to stay healthy during the flu season, visit the Centers for Disease Control website atwww.cdc.gov/flu
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