H1N1 vaccination clinic scheduled for Nov. 19

Published 10:08 am Saturday, November 14, 2009

A H1N1 vaccination clinic has been scheduled for Nov. 19 in Grand Meadow for children between 5 and 9.

The youngsters represent a new group of people eligible for vaccines — previously, Mower County Public Health had been focusing on health care workers, people who work with youth and pregnant women.

Margene Gunderson, director of community health services, said state and national officials have been recommending that local units follow this schedule because these are the people most at-risk.

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As of last Saturday, 1,261 people had been hospitalized due to confirmed H1N1 flu cases in Minnesota since Sept. 1 — including 134 new cases — bringing the total for the pandemic to 1,521, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

There have also been 21 confirmed deaths from H1N1 and two more from unspecified flulike illnesses since the virus first turned up in the state.

However, many cases that may be H1N1 are never confirmed because of high test costs and because a diagnosis doesn’t affect treatment, Gunderson said.

For example, a death likely from H1N1 in Mower County reported Thursday by the MDH hasn’t been confirmed because officials weren’t able to get a laboratory sample.

For people with flulike symptoms, officials are generally saying “stay home.”

“If you or a family member gets sick, you need to stay home and avoid contact with other people,” Dr. Richard Schindler, infection control medical director at Austin Medical Center, said in a press release.

However, if symptoms are severe, people should contact their health care providers and consider going to the hospital. These include trouble breathing, fevers of 104 degrees or more that don’t go down within a few hours, and seizures.

For help figuring out how to react to H1N1, local residents can call the AMC’s H1N1 information line at 507-434-1188.

There is also more information at austinmedicalcenter.org. For information in different languages, go to echominnesota.org/H1N1.

-The Associated Press contributed to this report

H1N1 vaccination clinic for children ages 5-9

Where: Grand Meadow School

When: Thur., Nov. 19, 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

*NOTE: Clinic is subject to cancellation due to lack of vaccines. Please check back with Mower County Public Health for more information.