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Archives 10-22-2003

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Autumn covered in vibrant fall colors
Health Department urges public to receive flu shots
Tennessee launches initiative for statewide technology job growth

 

 

Autumn covered in vibrant fall colors

Alisha Finley/OCN staff

Autumn Brewer giggles as her cousin, Garrett Paul, covers her in the multicolored fall leaves. They enjoyed an afternoon outside in the calming fall weather during a family gathering held at their great-grandparents' house Sunday, October 12.

 

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Health Department urges public to receive flu shots

Flu season is on the way, and Tennessee Department of Health is urging people to get an annual flu shot.

Health Commissioner Kenneth Robinson, MD, said, "Flu is a highly contagious disease. Getting a flu shot helps protect you and others from getting influenza.

"It is especially important to get vaccinated if you are at high risk for complications from the flu, or are in close contact with someone at high risk, but anyone who wants to avoid sickness during flu season can benefit from the protection offered by a flu shot."

Those at high risk include persons 65 and over, very young children, persons with diabetes, heart disease and other health problems, and pregnant women.

Children younger than 2 years-old have one of the highest rates of hospitalizations from flu. Children over 6 months-old can be vaccinated with a pediatric vaccine, available in most physicians' offices and local health departments. Children under 6 months-old are too young to get a flu shot, so the best way to protect them is for their parents, family members, and caregivers to get vaccinated, according to the Health Department.

Flu is caused by a virus that infects the nose, throat, and lungs, and can be spread through the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.

Flu is responsible for hospitalizing approximately 114,000 individuals in the U.S. each year, and causes an average of 36,000 deaths, mostly among the elderly.

Influenza vaccine is expected to be plentiful in 2003, and the best time to get a flu shot is in October or November, according to the Health Department.

Even though yearly flu shots have long been recommended for those over age 65, nearly one-third of senior citizens still do not get a flu shot, even though Medicare will pay for them. Older African-Americans and Hispanics are significantly less likely to get a flu shot than whites. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza vaccination coverage among adults 65 and older is 68 percent for whites, 48 percent for African-Americans, and 57 percent for Hispanics.

Persons who are at high risk for the flu and need a flu shot every year also need to be vaccinated at least once against bacterial pneumonia, which is the most common cause of vaccine-preventable death in this country.

"Unlike a flu shot, there is no need to get the pneumonia vaccine every year; yet African-Americans and Hispanics are even less likely to have pneumococcal vaccination coverage than to have gotten a flu shot," Commissioner Robinson said. "Some people may need to have a booster shot after five years, but this safe and effective vaccine provides protection for most people indefinitely."

For more information about flu shots contact Overton County Health Department.

 

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Tennessee launches initiative for statewide technology job growth

The state Department of Economic and Community Development has announced the launch of new initiatives aimed at supporting technology job growth throughout the state.

The initiatives include the appointment of a new ECD director of technology to advise the commissioner of ECD on technology issues, the creation of a new grant program, and the creation of a new Business Enterprise Resource Office within the department.

ECD's new director of technology will report directly to the commissioner, elevating the importance of technology concerns to the highest level in the de-partment's 31-year history. The grant program will be used along with other state resources to enhance and expand the work of the state's technology councils to support job growth efforts at the local level around the state. The new Business Enterprise Resource Office has been created within the department to provide access for small and emerging businesses, including technology companies, to technical assistance and planning, public and private sector procurement opportunities and capital.

 

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Overton County News
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Livingston, Tennessee 38570
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