Health officials recommend flu shots for everyone — especially those with HIV

Parkland hospital sent a news release this morning encouraging everyone to get flu shots. Dallas County health officials are noticing a higher rate of flu-related hospitalizations than last year.

Dallas County has not reached the peak of flu season so getting a vaccination can still help prevent illness. The predominant strain of flu this year is H3N2, which is more severe than last year’s H1N1 virus.

Parkland’s Chief of Infection Prevention Dr. Pranavi Sreeramoju said the best way to reduce your risk of getting the flu is by receiving the flu vaccine. He said H3N2 causes more severe illness, more hospitalizations and more complications.

The Centers for Disease Control is recommending that all people over the age of six months receive the vaccine. But groups at special risk are people over the age of 65 and people with compromised immune systems, including people with HIV.

Walgreens on the corner of Oak Lawn and Cedar Springs has flu shots available.

Resource Center Dallas’ Nelson-Tebedo Clinic is offering flu shots for $20. Call ahead to make an appointment, Monday through Saturday but not Tuesday at 214-528-2336.

—  David Taffet

Get well, Tammy Baldwin

U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin
U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin

As Congress continues to debate health care reform, lesbian U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin has sit out some of the fight — because she has swine flu.

WISN.com
, an ABC affiliate, reported last Friday, Dec. 11, that Baldwin had been holed up in her D.C. apartment all week, trying to recover from H1N1, and to avoid spreading the virus to anyone else.

Baldwin told the station that she was feeling better and hoped “to be back to full strength very soon.”

Well, best wishes Congresswoman. Hope you are feeling better and back on the Hill soon.

If you want to see about getting the H1N1 vaccine here in North Texas, call the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services at 214-819-2000 or the Tarrant County Public Health Department at 817-321-4700.

—  admin