Flu clinics scheduled

The Dickinson-Iron District Health Department (DIDHD) has announced plans to conduct community influenza (flu) immunization clinics.

Health officials state it is very important to receive the seasonal flu vaccine. Flu is a contagious disease. It is caused by the influenza virus, which can be spread by coughing, sneezing, or nasal secretions.

Infants, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions – such as heart, lung or kidney disease or a weakened immune system – are at higher risk for complication from the flu virus. Flu can cause high fever and pneumonia, and make existing medical conditions worse. Each year thousands of people die from seasonal flu and even more require hospitalization.

The single best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against the flu is to get vaccinated each year. Health officials recommended that everyone 6 months of age and older receive a flu vaccine.

The department also encourages new parents, health care professionals, and those who have contact with people age 65 and older to get vaccinated to help protect these high-risk individuals.

Every Monday evening in October, a flu clinic will be held at each health department from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Dickinson County office is located at 818 Pyle Drive, Kingsford. The Iron County office is located at 601 Washington Ave., Iron River.

In Dickinson County, clinics will also be held at the Health Department on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and on Monday, Sept. 29, from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

In Iron County, a clinic will be held in conjunction with the Northstar Health System Health Fair at the Windsor Center in Iron River on Thursday, Oct. 2, from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Additional community clinics will be held at the following locations:

– Norway School, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

– Crystal Falls Senior Center, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.

– Sagola Senior Center, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.

– North Dickinson School, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

– West Iron County School, Thursday, Oct. 23, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

– Forest Park School, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The flu immunization can be billed to Medicare part B, Michigan Medicaid and most private health insurances.

Pneumococcal immunizations will also be available at the flu clinics. Pneumococcal disease is a serious disease that causes much sickness and death. Pneumococcal disease can lead to serious infections of the lungs (pneumonia), the blood (bacteremia), and the covering of the brain (meningitis).

Anyone can get pneumococcal disease. However, some people are at greater risk from the disease. These include smokers, people 65 and older, the very young, and people with special health problems such as alcoholism, heart or lung disease, kidney failure, diabetes, HIV infection or certain types of cancer.

Usually one dose of pneumococcal vaccine is needed. However, under certain circumstances a second dose may be given. Persons who are in the high risk category due to an illness should consult with their physician prior to receiving the pneumococcal vaccine.

These immunizations are billable to Medicare Part B, Michigan Medicaid and most private health insurance companies.

For an appointment or more information please call the Health Department at (906) 774-1868 or (906) 265-9913. Appointments are appreciated but walk-ins will be accepted, agency officials said.