In response to the continued intensity of this flu season and the concerns of our community, the Norwalk Health Department will offer additional appointments for flu shots in the coming weeks. If you have not yet gotten a flu shot and would like to be vaccinated, please call the Health Department at (203) 854-7776, and staff will work to schedule an appointment at a convenient time for you.
“We continue to be a resource for the Norwalk community during this terrible flu season,” explained Norwalk Director of Health Deanna D’Amore, MPH. “We are still offering vaccines, and we are closely monitoring flu activity.”
The flu vaccine offers protection against seasonal and H1N1 flu, and everyone older than 6 months is encouraged to be vaccinated.
Children between 6 months and 18 years of age can receive the vaccine free of charge. Flu shots are free for adults who have Medicare Part B, Medicaid, Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, ConnectiCare, and United. Please bring all your insurance cards with you. Otherwise, standard flu shots cost $25 per person, and high-dose shots (an option for patients 65 and older) cost $50. No one will be turned away, regardless of their ability to pay.
The Health Department also holds regular walk-in hours on Tuesdays from 1 – 3 pm without an appointment, while vaccine supplies last.
In addition to getting your flu shot, you can take other steps to stay healthy this year:
- Wash your hands regularly. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick, too.
- Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Seek care early. See your healthcare provider immediately if you develop flu symptoms (see below). Antiviral medications can help if taken early in the illness.
Recognizing Flu Symptoms
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports these important signs and symptoms of flu to look out for:
- Fever (though, not everyone with flu will have a fever)
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults
Get medical help right away if you experience any of these symptoms or notice them in your children:
|In Children||In Infants||In Adults|
|Fast breathing or trouble breathing||All symptoms listed for children, or…||Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath|
|Bluish skin color||Has no tears when crying||Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen|
|Not drinking enough fluids||Being unable to eat||Sudden dizziness|
|Not waking up or not interacting||Has trouble breathing||Confusion|
|Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held||Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal||Severe or persistent vomiting|
|Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough||Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough|
|Fever with a rash|
Anyone can get the flu, but some people are especially urged to protect themselves from the flu because they are at increased risk for serious flu-related complications, including those people with certain medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease), people 65 years and older, pregnant women, young children, and anyone who lives with or cares for these higher risk individuals.
If you have a question about the flu or the flu vaccine, call your physician. If you do not have a physician or you have questions about getting your flu shot with the Health Department, please call us at (203) 854-7776.