City prepares for flu season - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

City prepares for flu season

by Larry Lemmons
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - Children will be going back to school soon and the Amarillo City Commission is hearing from the public health department about their plans for flu season.

The CDC says everyone should get the H1N1 vaccine and they should have enough for everyone.

However, the city isn't expecting any vaccine until mid-October and health officials say the flu season could be early this year.

City Commissioner, Dr. Brian Eades says, "One thing that's a little bit of a concern is the new flu season could pick up before we have our vaccine widely available. so if you start to have symptoms of the flu you're going to have to be in contact with your doctor."

"The CDC has talked about the priorities for H1N1 vaccine, that pandemic flu, and that's going to be the very young, people who care for people with chronic conditions, people with chronic conditions, health care personnel," says Director of Public Health Matt Richardson.

Also, vaccines will be more complicated. People will need to get the regular flu vaccine and possibly two H1N1 vaccines separated by three or four weeks.

Because of the reality of the flu last year, officials may act differently this year.  Eades says, "Now we've got the benefit, what's been the flu season in the southern hemisphere for the last six months, and we can see it hasn't been as devastating, and we can be a little more measured in our response this time."

As with any flu, public health officials say the best prevention is proper hand hygiene.

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