Iowa County Health Department is the official agency of the County responsible for the promotion of wellness, prevention of disease and provision of a healthful environment. This is accomplished through activities involving assessment of the community, policy development and evaluation of programs.
Jenny Pritchett, Health Officer, MPH, RN, CIC
Kathy Key, Secretary
Kari Bennett, RN, BSN
Ann Thompson, RN, BSN
Environmental Health Consultant:
Committee on Health Members:
Dr. Peter Mullin
Yvonne Eide, Division of Public Health
Get a Flu Shot:
NO EXCUSES! GET A FLU SHOT
Health Officials Look to Dispel Myths that
Keep Some People from Getting Vaccinated
You have probably seen a sign at your neighborhood pharmacy, “Flu Shots Available Here”, or maybe your workplace is holding a flu shot clinic. It seems wherever we go these days, there are reminders that now is the time to get a flu shot.
“The timing and intensity of a flu season is always unpredictable and can vary from region to region of the country,” said Dr. Henry Anderson, State Health Officer. “Really, there is no time like the present to get a flu shot.”
While the vaccine has been touted for years as the best way to avoid the flu, there are plenty of misconceptions that persist that make some people wary about getting the vaccine. “It’s unfortunate that misinformation could prevent people from protecting themselves, family, friends and co-workers,” Anderson said. “It’s time we dispel those myths!”
1. “I got a flu shot, but I got the flu anyway!”
The flu shot cannot cause influenza. If someone gets sick with the flu after getting the shot, it is likely because they were exposed to the virus before they got the shot, or were exposed during the time it takes to develop immunity after getting the shot. It is also possible to be infected with another respiratory virus (like a cold) during the flu season. The flu shot only protects against influenza, not other viruses. While the flu shot is not 100% effective, it is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones.
2. “I got a flu shot last year. Besides, if everyone around me gets the shot, why should I?”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu shot for just about everyone 6 months old and older. Immune protection declines over time, so an annual vaccination is needed to get the best protection. Even if you’re young and healthy, you can still get the flu if everyone around you has been vaccinated. Flu viruses are unpredictable and every year puts you at risk again. Another reason to get vaccinated is to protect your close contacts, some of whom are likely to be at risk of complications from the flu, such as young children, older people, pregnant women, and those with underlying illnesses.
3. “I heard the flu vaccine isn’t safe.”
Manufacturers of flu vaccines are closely monitored by the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Flu vaccines have been administered for more than 50 years and have a very good safety record.
4. “I hate shots.”
The minor, short-term pain of a flu shot is nothing compared to having the flu, which can make you sick for several days, send you to the hospital, or worse. However, most healthy, non-pregnant people ages 2 through 49 can opt for the nasal-spray flu vaccine, which is a great option for people who don’t like shots.
5. “I waited too long to get a flu shot.”
While the best time to get a flu shot is when they first become available, the flu season is unpredictable and can begin early in the fall and last late into spring. As long as the flu season continues, it’s not too late to get your flu shot.
To get your flu shot, contact your health care provider, local public health department, tribal health clinic, or go to www.flu.wisconsin.gov to find a flu vaccination center near you.
Besides the flu shot, there are some common sense measures we should all take to avoid viruses of all types, including:
The flu season in Wisconsin generally runs from autumn to spring with peak activity around late-January or February. To learn more about influenza, visit: http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/communicable/influenza/ or call the Iowa County Health Department at (608) 930-9870.
Testing and Controlling Home Radon is a Wise Investment
Radon testing is a small investment that can pay big dividends for homeowners. The Iowa County Health Department has FREE radon test kits available November through March. Radon is an odorless, radioactive gas that is naturally present in the ground and enters houses through their foundations. Breathing radon for extended times increases the risk of lung cancer. Since radon is widespread and concentrations vary greatly from home to home, every home having contact with the ground should be tested.
If your home’s radon level is elevated, the risk of lung cancer and potential loss of a loved one can be serious. However, a home’s radon level can be substantially reduced. The cost for reducing radon in your home is $900 - $1,500, and the investment could make a home easier to sell.
More than 50 radon mitigation contractors in Wisconsin are nationally certified and install highly-effective systems. Thousands of systems are installed in existing homes in Wisconsin each year. When having a new home built, features that reduce radon entry can be included for little added cost.
The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking and is responsible for several thousand preventable lung cancer deaths each year. State statistics indicate that between five and ten percent of the homes in Wisconsin have elevated airborne concentrations of radon in significantly occupied spaces.
For comprehensive radon information, go to www.lowradon.org. Call the Iowa County Health Department at (608) 930-9870 or stop in at their office at 303 W. Chapel Street, Suite 2200, to pick up a free radon kit.
State Health Boards & Directors
Center for Disease Control
WI Department of Health Services
WI Influenza Information
Wisconsin Immunization Registry
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Monday - Friday
303 W. Chapel St.
Floor 2, Suite 2200
Dodgeville, WI 53533