Building up defenses

With flu hitting major population areas all over the nation, Hamilton County Public Health was doing a brisk business Monday afternoon, doling out vaccines to those who have yet to be innoculated.

Area residents of ages lined up at the new public health building on James Street to get a shot that would hopefully still protect them from the flu.

Public Health Administrator Shelby Kroona said, “They’re still telling us from state that you can get some protection. The influenza is widespread across the country and it does take up to two weeks to build antibodies.”

Her agency had 115 doses and she said expected all of that to be gone by the end of Monday’s clinic.

She said that the flu is here in Hamilton County – there are confirmed cases. She said she hoped the people vaccinated Monday wouldn’t be exposed to the flu before the antibodies build up to protect them.

“The very best way to prevent the spread of the flu is to cover your cough, wash your hands frequently with soap and water for a longer time than might you think,” she said. And if you are sick, Kroona said to stay home from school or work to prevent spreading the disease to others.

People who stopped to get a flu shot on Monday at Hamilton County Public Health had a chance have a glimpse of the agency’s new headquarters located in the former U.A.W. Hall. Public health is in the process of moving into the new building and should be fully relocated by next week.

The remodeling work at the new facility has been going on for most of the fall. Kroona said they plan to be all moved in time for the Jan. 22 Women Infants and Children clinic.

“We should have everything up and running by then,” she said. “We plan to have an open house a little later on so people can come through and tour the building.”