Fall is coming and so is cold and flu season.
The timing of flu arrival is very unpredictable and can vary from season to season. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. in January or February. However, seasonal flu activity can occur as late as May.
While not certain, it is likely that 2009 influenza viruses will continue to spread along with 2010-2011 seasonal viruses in the U.S..
Jane Palmer, nursing director at Klickiat County Health Department, reports that CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone as the first and most important step in protecting against the flu.
While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine is designed to protect against the three main flu strains that are most likely to cause illness during the flu season.
The 2010-2011 flu vaccine will protect against three different flu viruses: an H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the H1N1 virus that caused so much illness last season.
Flu vaccine will be available to everyone eligible to receive it. It is recommended for everyone six months of age and older.
The Health Department will be providing several flu vaccine clinics through out the county this year.
The first general clinic for adults will be a "drive-thru" clinic in conjunction with the White Salmon Health Fair, Oct. 8 and 9, sponsored by Skyline Hospital. This clinic will run from 7 to 11 a.m.
Clearly marked signs and directions will be in place to help guide adults wishing to receive their flu shot.
The Health Department will also be offer flu vaccination for $25 at the following clinics:
Goldendale Senior meal site -- Oct. 12 from 11 a.m. to noon.
White Salmon Senior meal site -- Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to noon.
Glenwood School -- Oct. 18 from 2 to 4 p.m.
Lyle Senior meal site -- Oct. 19 from 11 a.m. to noon.
Bickelton Senior meal site -- Oct. 26 from 11 a.m. to noon.
White Salmon Health Department -- Oct. 20 and 27, by appointment (493-1558)
Goldendale Health Department -- Oct. 21 and 28, by appointment (773-4565)
In addition to getting a flu shot, you can take everyday preventive steps like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading influenza to others.