Monday, December 30, 2013

Deadly Flu is Spreading in San Angelo

Two months ago City officials informed the public the Health Department had limited flu shot availability.  At year end the city issued a press release encouraging citizens to get a flu shot:

The San Angelo-Tom Green County Health Department is urging citizens to get influenza vaccinations and take precautions in the wake of an increase in local flu cases. 
The Texas Department of State Health Services recently report the level of flu-like illness is classified as “high” statewide, and medical providers are seeing an increase in flu across the state, including in San Angelo. 
It takes several weeks to build immunity after getting a flu shot.  For citizens to have optimal protections they needed the shot before a widespread outbreak.  
San Angelo's City Council under Mayor Alvin New contributed to a more severe flu season in 2012-2013 with massive budget cuts.  While a fraction of the budget has been restored, immunizations are conducted only on Tuesdays, not the five days a week prior to the $138,000 cut.  
Flu vaccines are administered during the Health Department’s weekly immunization clinic on Tuesdays from 8 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m. in its offices in Suite 9 at 2030 Pulliam St. The clinics are open only to walk-ins (no appointments). 
Once upon a time the Health Department had a primary care clinic and a pharmacy to fulfill its current recommendation:
Antiviral treatment is recommended for anyone with confirmed or suspected flu who is hospitalized, has severe or progressive illness or is at a higher risk for complications. 
They don't suggest how flu stricken Health Department clientele are to obtain such medicines. 

What's clear is the level of service reduction.  This is the state of public health in our city and state.  Be sure to thank your elected officials. 

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