NEW BRITAIN-If you havenâ€™t gotten a flu shot yet, you might want to.
The flu has been classified by the Connecticut Department of Public Health as â€świdespreadâ€ť since December. As of Jan. 13, over 1,342 people have tested positive for the flu, 615 have been hospitalized with the illness and 21 flu related deaths have been reported, according to state health officials.
The DPH has partnered with several local healthcare facilities to provide free or low cost flu shots across the state on Saturday.
Although none of the listed locations are in central Connecticut, the closest location would be Glastonbury Town Hall from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Cromwell Town Hall from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. To see the full list of locations visit http://www.portal.ct.gov/DPH/Public-Health-Preparedness/State-Flu-Vaccination-Day-Schedule-2018
â€śFor those Connecticut residents who havenâ€™t yet received a flu shot, we hope they will take advantage of these flu clinics,â€ť said DPH Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino. â€śIt is not too late to get protection from the flu this season.â€ť
Vaccines for children 18 years of age and under as well as adult vaccines for those without insurance will be free. Adults with insurance should bring their card and will be charged a small administrative fee, but not be charged out of pocket for the vaccine, according to the DPH.
In addition, health departments across the state are still conducting on-going flu clinics. For Southington and Plainville residents visit the Plainville-Southington Regional Health District, 196 North Main St. in Southington; Berlin and Newington residents can visit the Central Connecticut Health District, 5050 Silas Deane Highway in Wethersfield; New Britain residents can go to the New Britain Health Department, 88 Prospect St.; and Bristol residents can go to the Bristol-Burlington Health District, 240 Stafford Ave. in Bristol.
Pharmacies, walk-in clinics and urgent care centers are also offering flu shots for little to no cost.
Influenza â€“ flu for short â€“ is a contagious respiratory illness that is spread through the air and by direct contact with respiratory droplets. Typical symptoms of the flu include sudden fever, aching muscles, sore throat, coughing, runny nose, headache and eye pain.
Flu season peaks in February and March, but can last through May, according to Hartford Healthcare officials.
The DPH is encouraging all state residents over the age of 6 months to get the shot. High-risk groups should especially be sure to get vaccinated. Those groups include young children, pregnant women, those over 65 years of age and those with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, and heat and lung disease.
Tips to prevent the spread of germs from Hartford HealthCare:
If you do get the flu, limit your contact with other people.
Always cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissue away after one use.
Wash your hands with warm water and soap, often.
Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose - germs spread this way.
Disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated with germs.