October 19, 2022
Kirksville, MO 10/19/22 – The number of COVID-19 cases reported to the Adair County Health Department during the previous seven-day period, October 11-17, rose from 34 to 37. The rising COVID-19 reported case count comes as cases of the seasonal flu are also increasing.
Jim Lebaron, Adair County Health Department administrator, encourages residents to get their annual flu vaccine and the range of COVID-19 vaccine protection available.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) tracks lab results for positive flu tests for those presenting in Missouri emergency rooms and those hospitalized for the flu. From October 2-8, there were 80 positive tests, compared with only 28 for the same period in 2021. The highest rate of ER visits and hospitalizations is among children ages 0-4.
“Cases of the flu are on the rise and are affecting the most vulnerable, young children and older adults,” LeBaron said. “We recommend seasonal flu vaccines for those ages 6 months and older, and to get vaccinated as soon as possible. It can take nearly two weeks for the vaccine to begin working. Moreover, those ages 65 and older should get the high-dose flu vaccine for extra protection.”
High-risk individuals include adults ages 65 and older, children with underlying medical conditions, and those with asthma, heart disease or stroke, diabetes, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. This group also includes those who are pregnant. The flu vaccine provides protection not only for pregnant persons but for their newborns as well.
“Vaccine protection is critical for those most at risk for severe complications from the flu and from COVID-19,” LeBaron said. “Residents should talk to their provider or pharmacy about getting both the flu vaccine and the appropriate COVID-19 vaccine or booster at the same time.”
The Adair County Health Department continues to administer COVID-19 vaccines and/or boosters for children as young as six months old. As of last week, children as young as five years old now qualify for the bivalent COVID-19 booster. Those ages five and older must have completed an initial two-dose series of the Pfizer or Moderna monovalent COVID-19 vaccine (or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine) to be eligible for the bivalent booster.
To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine, call the Health Department at 660-665-8491.