Jodi Hensley/ Staff Writer

For many, October brings Halloween and the opening of the holiday season, but according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) web site, it is also the official start of flu season, and, although the peak of flu season is not until after January, the best time to get a flu shot is now.

Cathy Smart, respiratory therapist at Driscoll Children’s Hospital and graduate of DMC, said, “The flu virus is spread by droplets sprayed in the air, due to coughing, sneezing, or talking and then inhaled by someone nearby.”

The likelihood of spreading the flu in an enclosed space such as a classroom is greater than in an open area, according to Smart. The flu shot is most effective for young adults and older children, according to the CDC.

Numerous places around town are currently offering flu shots on a walk-in basis to make the vaccine as available as possible.

The pharmacy in HEB on Saratoga offers the vaccine for $27 to people with no health coverage, but if you sign up for HEB’s prescription program for a one-time $5 fee, the vaccine is $25, according to Laura, a Pharmacy Tech.

CVS also offers the vaccine on a walk-in basis and will provide a $5 gift card if there is no health coverage. The Nueces County Public Health District offers the flu shot for $20 and accepts CHIPS, Medicaid, Medicare, and Humana.

Nueces County officials recommend that anyone over six months of age be vaccinated. The County Health Office is located at 1702 Horne Rd., or call 361/826-7238.

Officials highly recommend that everyone be vaccinated, but especially high-risk groups including people with asthma or diabetes, adults age 65 or older, pregnant women, or those with HIV/AIDS or cancer.

Symptoms of the flu include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches or fatigue.

DMC officials recommend employees and students stay home if these symptoms are present to stop the spread of the flu.

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