"The flu can kill:" Milwaukee Health Department hosts FREE flu vaccine clinic for children

MILWAUKEE (WITI) – The City of Milwaukee Health Department hosted a free flu vaccine clinic for children age 18 and under on Thursday, October 30th.

The flu vaccine clinic was held at the City’s Northwest Health Center (7630 W. Mill Rd.) from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

“Every year healthy people can get the flu and spread it to others. That is why I get my flu vaccine every year, and I encourage all families to protect themselves and those around them by getting vaccinated early this season," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said.

Influenza (the flu) is among the most common contagious respiratory illnesses in the United States. Though common, it can be serious, leading to hospitalization and sometimes death. During the 2013-2014 flu season, more than 260 persons were hospitalized and two children died statewide as a result of flu or its complications.

“The flu can kill. The single best way to protect yourself and your family is to get vaccinated each year," Milwaukee Health Commissioner Bevan Baker said.

The influenza vaccine is recommended for all individuals over six months of age, especially those at greatest risk for serious complications, including adults 65 and older, children younger than five, pregnant women, and those who are around high-risk populations. The flu vaccine helps prevent illness but can also lesson the severity of symptoms if you do get sick.

The MHD also encourages frequent hand washing with soap and water, and covering coughs and sneezes with your sleeve to reduce the spread of germs. Those experiencing symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, muscle or body aches and fatigue should remain home from work or school, get rest, and drink plenty of fluids.

To find flu vaccine near you, use the Flu Vaccine Finder at milwaukee.gov/health.

CLICK HERE to read answers to flu-related questions -- courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).