The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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February 6, 2014

Virus sweeping its way across state

(Continued)

Since beginning their vaccination season, Wagner has issued more than 200 flu shots to area residents, and although most of those vaccinations come in the fall before the common flu season hits, people may still have a chance to avoid the virus.

"If someone came in and needed one we would give it to them but I don't know what our stock is like right now," Certified Pharmacy Technician Michele Housenga-Leonard said. "We just place an order based on the stock that we went through last year and go from there."

Wagner isn't the only place still issuing influenza vaccines, though. On average people can contact any one of the area's health care facilities and find out where they can still receive a flu shot for the year.

Genesis Health Care's Visiting Nurse Association in Clinton is another location where a flu shot can still be issued, but Cullen said at this point preventative measures may be out of reach.

"It's getting to the point where it's questionable whether (a vaccine) will do a lot of good," Cullen said. "So we're encouraging people to use common sense tactics to prevent the spread of the illness. If you're sick, stay home. Stay home until you've gone 24 hours without a fever. Use proper handwashing techniques; those kinds of things can make a difference."

In addition to those common sense practices, like covering the mouth when coughing or using only one tissue and disposing of it after its use, another way to prevent the spread of the illness is catching the virus early in its progression.

Statistically, people who visit the doctor within one or two days of the first symptoms of the flu experience a shorter length of the illness as opposed to those who wait four or five days.

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