Following last week’s announcement by Governor Cuomo declaring a public health emergency in New York due to the flu outbreak, St. Charles Hospital is offering free flu shots to community residents on Jan. 28, according to an email sent to Patch.
The hospital cited the latest data available as of Jan. 27 for the State saying that as of that day, there were 23,501 confirmed cases of influenza. This is the second highest total to be reported in the last decade with the highest recorded during the 2009-2010 flu season.
The hospital reported that of the confirmed cases, 21 percent are people over 65 and 17 percent are children under four-years-old.
“Both age groups are at greatest risk for influenza as well as complications from the flu,” the statement said.
The flu shots will be given at St. Charles Hospital’s Wisdom Conference Center between 3 and 6 p.m. on Jan. 28. The Wisdom Conference Center is located on the Chapel side of the hospital and can be directly accessed from the Chapel parking lot via a brick pathway between St. Charles and Good Shepherd Hospice.
There are only a limited number of shots available. They will be provided on a first come, first serve basis.
The hospital said that adults and children over the age of four can receive a flu shot, but they must be in good health and not sick that day.
Besides getting a flu shot, the hospital also released a number of recommendations to help prevent the spread of the flu given out by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) including:
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu
- Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them.
For more information on receiving a free flu shot at St. Charles Hospital call (631) 474-6797.