Health briefs: Is it too late for a flu shot? | SteamboatToday.com

Health briefs: Is it too late for a flu shot?

Yampa Valley Health

It’s not too late for a flu shot

Influenza is a contagious virus and can cause mild to severe illness, sometimes resulting in hospitalization. Older adults, young children and people with certain health conditions may be at high risk for complications.

It’s not too late to get a flu shot; flu season typically extends into spring. Flu symptoms can include fever, fatigue, muscle or body aches, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and headaches. If a person becomes ill, flu vaccination may make the illness milder.

Avoid getting or spreading flu by washing hands frequently and covering coughs. People who get sick should stay home from work or school until at least 24 hours after their fever is gone. Antiviral medications can lessen symptoms and duration of illness. Individuals at risk of complications should check with their healthcare provider promptly after getting sick. Others can be treated with antivirals at their healthcare provider’s discretion.

Flu shots are available by appointment at Northwest Colorado Health, 940 Central Park Drive, Suite 101. Low-cost vaccinations are available for individuals who do not have insurance. Same-day appointments often are available. Call 970-879-1632 for an appointment or for more information.

Help available for insurance enrollment

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Individuals who need health insurance or need to renew their plans must do so by Jan. 31.

• There are new plans and prices every year. Financial help is available to lower monthly costs.

• Free, in-person assistance is available to help find the right plan.

• Those already enrolled need to renew plans to retain coverage. Be sure to review options.

• There are tax penalties for not having health insurance.

• Participants must enroll or renew plans by Jan. 31] for coverage beginning March 1.

For assistance free assistance, contact a Health Coverage Guide at Northwest Colorado Health at 970-871-7330 or Yampa Valley Medical Center at 970-879-1322. Drop-in open enrollment assistance is also available from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Jan. 25 at Yampa Valley Medical Center, 1024 Central Park Drive. For more information and resources, visit northwestcoloradohealth.org/healthinsurance.

Program expands eligibility for cervical cancer screenings

Northwest Colorado Health is offering free cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services to women age 21 to 64 through the Women’s Wellness Connection. Eligibility for these services previously began at age 40. To qualify, women must meet financial qualifications, be in the U.S. legally and have limited or no health insurance. Women’s Wellness Connection is a program of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. For more information, visit northwestcoloradohealth.org/wwc or call 970-879-1632.