It’s that time of year again! Yes, it is flu season. Flu season runs from October through May in North Carolina. Influenza (flu) is a very contagious viral infection that affects the nose, throat, and lungs. The virus is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms of influenza include fever, chills, cough, headache, runny nose, sore throat, fatigue, and body aches and pains. The flu vaccine should be given every year at the beginning of flu season. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to be effective. However, it is not too late to get your flu shot. It is important for everyone 6 months and older to receive a flu vaccine. Flu can be a serious illness, especially for adults over age 65, children under five, pregnant women and those with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease. It very important for everyone to use precautions to protect against the spread of flu and other viruses, including:
• Washing hands frequently, preferably with soap and water or an approved hand sanitizer
• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then discard the tissue promptly
• If you are sick with flu, stay home until you have been fever free for at least 24 hours
It is very important for your child to be up to date on all immunizations. We can provide immunizations during a Well Child Check or schedule an appointment through our Walk-In clinic. We enter all immunizations given into the North Carolina Immunization Registry and provide parents with an updated copy and a copy to give to school of the updated immunization record.
It is important for children to have regular physicals to make sure they are healthy as well as to make sure they are meeting developmental milestones. Here at Sampson County Health Department, we provide Well Child Checks which include hearing screens, vision screens, developmental screens, blood pressure screens, and measure height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) along with the physical exam. We have an on-site lab where we can check hemoglobin, cholesterol, blood lead, and provide Sickle Cell testing. Some tests are performed on-site and some testing has to be sent out to other labs such as the State Lab. During Well Child Checks, it is a good time to ask questions or voice any concerns about your growing child. We also have a Sickle Cell Counselor that comes every month and provides counseling for patients with Sickle Cell Trait or Sickle Cell Disease.
Sampson County Health Department looks forward to serving you—-our community! Please feel free to call us with any questions concerning Well Child Checks or immunizations at 910-592-1131, ext. 4247 or for appointments call 910-592-1131, ext. 4001.
Jo Ellen Naylor is the Child Health and Immunization Coordinator for the Sampson County Health Department.