Flu season is upon us, and Calaveras County Health Officer Dr. Dean Kelaita urges foothill residents to get their flu shot.

“Deaths related to flu are tragic reminders that the flu virus needs to be taken very seriously,” Kelaita said in a press release. “A yearly flu shot is the best way to protect against infection and prevent others from coming down with the flu.”

To help make getting a flu vaccination easier, the Calaveras County Health Department will hold a free Drive-Thru Flu Clinic on Thursday, Nov. 7. Shots will be offered to people 10 and older between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Calaveras County Government Center, 891 Mountain Ranch Road in San Andreas. Those getting a flu shot should wear loose clothing so that the upper arm can easily be exposed.

For those who can’t make it to the drive-thru clinic, the Calaveras County Health Department offers vaccinations between 3 and 4:30 p.m. Mondays at 700 Mountain Ranch Road, Suite C-2, in San Andreas. Call (209) 754-6460 for an appointment.

In Tuolumne County, flu vaccines are offered between 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. at the Tuolumne County Health Department, 20111 Cedar Road N., Sonora. Call (209) 533-7401.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. The flu can lead to serious illness and even death in some people, especially the elderly and young children and people with certain health conditions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone 6 months and older receive the vaccine each fall.

To help prevent spreading the virus, people should wash their hands often, cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue or sleeve, and stay home when they’re sick.

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