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Health Division

Mission Clinic: 6000 Lamar Ave. STE 140, Mission, KS 66202

Olathe Clinic: 11875 S. Sunset Drive STE 300, Olathe, KS 66061

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Flu Planning

5 ways to plan for a flu pandemic
You and your family can start preparing now for a flu pandemic in five steps.

  1. Store food and water - Store one gallon of water per person per day to cover at least three days. Keep kitchen stocked with canned meats, fruits, vegetables and soups, as well as nonperishable food like granola bars, peanut butter and dried fruit. If there is an infant to care for, be sure to have baby food, formula and other supplies on hand. Store extra pet food for animals.
     
  2. Limit the spread of disease - Stay at home when you are sick. Use a tissue when sneezing or coughing. Most importantly, practice good handwashing. Be sure to teach these good habits to children.
     
  3. Medication - Have a supply of any prescription drugs you have on hand. Also, have non-prescription drugs and other health supplies available (stomach remedies, medicines for fever, cough and cold medicines and fluids with electrolytes).
     
  4. Communicate and stay informed - Listen for health reports on the radio or television. Go to www.jocogov.org, as well as Twitter (@JOCOHealth), Facebook (JOCOHealthDept) and YouTube (JCDHEKS) for information. Keep an emergency contact list for family, friends or others that might need your care.
     
  5. Emergency kit - Keep an emergency kit in case other emergencies arise, like a power outage. Items to include: batteries, flashlight, battery-powered radio, bottled water, nonperishable food, first aid kit, prescription medicine, extra money, credit card(s) and sturdy trash bags. Put items in a container you can easily carry.

If you get the flu during a pandemic, health officials estimate it will take about 5 to 7 days to recover.

Flu Questions

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

What is the flu shot?
The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. Flu vaccines (the flu shot and the nasal spray flu vaccine) cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection from the viruses that are in the vaccine.

The seasonal flu shot protects against three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Three kinds of influenza viruses commonly circulate among people today: influenza B viruses, influenza A (H1N1) viruses, and influenza A (H3N2) viruses. Each year, one flu virus of each kind is used to produce seasonal influenza vaccine. Viruses for the flu shot are grown in eggs.

Who should get a flu vaccine?
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious commplications from influenza:

  • Children aged 6 months to 5 years
  • Pregnant women
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities

People who live with or care for those at high risk for serious flu complications should get a flu vaccine every year too:

  • 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 (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
  • Healthcare workers

During flu seasons when vaccine supplies are limited or delayed, the ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) makes recommendations regarding priority groups for vaccination.

Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine (LAIV)
Nasal spray flu vaccine is approved for use in healthy people 2 to 49 years of age who are not pregnant. CDC recommends use of the nasal spray vaccine (LAIV) for healthy children 2 through 8 years of age when it is immediately available and if the child has no contraindications or precautions to the vaccine. If the nasal spray vaccine is not immediately available, get the flu shot for your child to protect them from the flu. For more information about the new CDC recommendation, see Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine in Children 2 through 8 Years Old.

Call (913) 826-1261 or read more about nasal spray flu vaccine.

Who should NOT get a flu vaccine?
Talk with a doctor before getting a flu vaccine if you:

  • Have a severe allergy to eggs
  • Have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination
  • Children younger than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for this age group)
  • People who have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated)
  • People with a history of Guillain–Barré Syndrome (a severe paralytic illness, also called GBS) that occurred after receiving influenza vaccine and who are not at risk for severe illness from influenza should generally not receive vaccine. Tell your doctor if you ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Your doctor will help you decide whether the vaccine is recommended for you.

You can get a flu vaccine at the same time you have a respiratory illness without fever or if you have another mild illness.

How effective is the flu vaccine?
Influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) can vary from year to year and among different age and risk groups. For more information about vaccine effectiveness, visit How Well Does the Seasonal Flu Vaccine Work?

What are the risks from getting a flu vaccine?
The viruses in the flu shot are killed (inactivated), so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. The risk of a flu shot causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small. However, a vaccine, like any medicine, may rarely cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. Almost all people who get influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it.

While the nasal spray flu vaccine does contain live viruses (unlike the flu shot), the viruses are attenuated (weakened) and cannot cause flu illness. The weakened viruses are cold-adapted, which means they are designed to only cause infection at the cooler temperatures found within the nose. The viruses cannot infect the lungs or other areas where warmer temperatures exist.

What are the side effects that could occur?

  • Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
  • Fever (low grade)
  • Aches

If these problems occur, they begin soon after the shot and usually last one to two days.

Some children and young adults 2 years through 17 years of age have reported experiencing mild reactions after getting the nasal spray flu vaccine, including runny nose, nasal congestion or cough, chills, tiredness/weakness, sore throat and headache. Some adults 18 years through 49 years of age have reported runny nose or nasal congestion, cough, chills, tiredness/weakness, sore throat and headache. These side effects are mild and short-lasting, especially when compared to symptoms of influenza infection.

Can severe problems occur?

  • Life-threatening allergic reactions are very rare. Signs of serious allergic reaction can include breathing problems, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heartbeat, or dizziness. If they do occur, it is within a few minutes to a few hours after the shot. These reactions are more likely to occur among persons with a severe allergy to eggs, because the viruses used in the influenza vaccine are grown in hens' eggs. People who have had a severe reaction to eggs or to a flu shot in the past should not get a flu shot before seeing a physician.
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome: Normally, about one person per 100,000 people per year will develop Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), an illness characterized by fever, nerve damage, and muscle weakness. In 1976, vaccination with the swine flu vaccine was associated with getting GBS. Several studies have been done to evaluate if other flu vaccines since 1976 were associated with GBS. Only one of the studies showed an association. That study suggested that one person out of 1 million vaccinated persons may be at risk of GBS associated with the vaccine.

More facts about potential side effects of the influenza vaccine can be found in "Prevention and Control of Influenza, Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)."

What should I do if I have had a serious reaction to influenza vaccine?

  • Call a doctor, or get to a doctor right away
  • Tell your doctor what happened, the date and time it happened, and when you got the flu shot
  • Ask your doctor, nurse, or health department to file a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)* form, or call VAERS at 1-800-822-7967

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Flu Shots

Seasonal flu vaccine now available

The best way to protect yourself from getting the flu is to receive the flu vaccine. The vaccine is safe and effective. JCDHE encourages everyone over the age of 6 months to get the flu vaccine.

Seasonal flu vaccine is available for adults and children over the age of 6 months at the immunization walk-in clinics in Olathe and Mission. The cost is $30 for a seasonal flu shot and $50 for the high dose flu shot for those age 65 and older.

We accept private insurance from Blue Cross and Blue Shield, UnitedHealthcare and Coventry. We do not take insurance from Coventry Advantra or Humana Gold Plus. We are a KanCare provider for all managed care organizations such as Amerigroup, Sunflower and United Community. Cash, check or credit card payment is also accepted for those who are uninsured or who carry other insurance plans. 

Walk-in immunization clinic hours

The Mission clinic is closed daily from 12:30-1:30 p.m.; the Olathe clinic remains open.

  • Monday - 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday - Mission, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.; Olathe, 10:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday - 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Thursday - 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • 1st, 3rd and 5th Friday - 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • 2nd and 4th Friday - 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Save yourself time in line

Complete form online BEFORE arriving at the clinic, print it and bring it with you.

Vaccine Information Statements (VIS):

JCDHE Influenza Surveillance Reports:

Patient Privacy Notice 

Flu Symptoms

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Influenza Symptoms, Protection, and What to Do If you Get Sick
Influenza (commonly called the “flu”) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The information below describes common flu symptoms, how to protect yourself and those close to you from getting the flu, and what to do if you get sick with flu-like symptoms.

People May Have Different Reactions to the Flu
The flu can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death. Although most healthy people recover from the flu without complications, some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious complications from the flu.

Be Aware of Common Flu Symptoms
Influenza usually starts suddenly and may include the following symptoms:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

* It's important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Having these symptoms does not always mean that you have the flu. Many different illnesses, including the common cold, can have similar symptoms.

Know the Risks from the Flu
In some people, the flu can cause serious complications, including bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. Children and adults may develop sinus problems and ear infections.

Know How the Flu Spreads
The flu usually spreads from person to person in respiratory droplets when people who are infected cough or sneeze. People occasionally may become infected by touching something with influenza virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes.

Healthy adults may be able to infect others 1 day before getting symptoms and up to 5 days after getting sick. Therefore, it is possible to give someone the flu before you know you are sick as well as while you are sick.

Protection against the Flu
The single best way to protect yourself and others against influenza is to get a flu vaccination each year. Two kinds of flu vaccine are available in the United States:

  • The "flu shot" —an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use in people older than 6 months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.
  • The nasal spray flu vaccine —a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu (sometimes called LAIV for “live attenuated influenza vaccine”). LAIV is approved for use in healthy people 2 years to 49 years of age who are not pregnant. Starting in 2014-2015, CDC recommends use of the nasal spray vaccine (LAIV) for healthy children 2 through 8 years of age when it is immediately available and if the child has no contraindications or precautions to the vaccine. If the nasal spray vaccine is not immediately available, get the flu shot for your child to protect them from the flu. For more information about the new CDC recommendation, see Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine in Children 2 through 8 Years Old.

October or November is the best time to get vaccinated, but you can still get vaccinated in December and later. Flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as springtime.

The following additional measures can help protect against the flu.

Habits for Good Health
These steps may help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses such as the flu:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze—throw the tissue away after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If you are not near water, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • If you get the flu, stay home from work, school, and social gatherings. In this way you will help prevent others from catching your illness.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs often spread this way.

Antiviral Medications
There are two FDA-approved antiviral drugs recommended by the CDC this season. The brand names for these are Tamiflu® (generic name oseltamivir) and Relenza® (generic name zanamivir). Tamiflu® is available as a pill or liquid and Relenza® is a powder that is inhaled. (Relenza® is not for people with breathing problems like asthma or COPD, for example.). These are prescription medications and a doctor should be consulted before they are used. Tamiflu® and Relenza® are usually prescribed for 5 days, although people hospitalized with the flu may need the medicine for longer than 5 days.

What to Do If You Get Sick

Diagnosing the Flu
It is very difficult to distinguish the flu from other infections on the basis of symptoms alone. A doctor's exam may be needed to tell whether you have developed the flu or a complication of the flu. There are tests that can determine if you have the flu as long you are tested within the first 2 or 3 days of illness.

If you develop flu-like symptoms and are concerned about your illness, especially if are at high risk for complications of the flu, you should consult your healthcare provider. Those at high risk for complications include people 65 years or older, people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women and young children.

Other Ways to Respond to the Flu
If you get the flu, get plenty of rest, drink a lot of liquids, and avoid using alcohol and tobacco. Also, you can take medications such as acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol®) to relieve the fever and muscle aches associated with the flu. Never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, particularly fever.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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