Sad news a reminder that flu season isn't over

Posted: Sunday, February 14, 2010

News this week that H1N1 influenza contributed to a Homer woman's death serves as a sobering reminder to continue to take precautions to protect ourselves and our loved ones from H1N1 and season influenza.

According to the Alaska Department of Health and Human Services, this death is the 13th lab-confirmed, flu-related fatality since July 2009. The last reported flu related death occurred in Alaska on Nov. 28, 2009.

So far, the Kenai Peninsula has managed to avoid any major outbreaks of illness. There have been a few days where schools have had a large number of students out sick, but thankfully, we haven't seen any large-scale, community-wide epidemic. We attribute that, at least in part, to the extensive preparation and public education, as well as vaccine dispensing clinics, done last fall by the peninsula's H1N1 task force.

However, DHHS and local public health officials are reminding peninsula residents that flu season in Alaska often peaks in February or early March and can extend into spring.

With that in mind, let's continue to practice what has been preached since last fall. Wash your hands or use a hand sanitzer regularly. When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose. And if you're feeling sick, stay home and get well.

Public health centers still have flu vaccines available. The Kenai Public Health Center provides walk-in immunization services from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Thursdays at the Soldotna Cottonwood Clinic. For more information call 335-3400.

For this legislative session, the Peninsula Clarion has banded with its other sister newspapers to create combines the latest legislative news from all the Morris Alaska newspapers in one spot, giving you a comprehensive collection of all the action from Juneau.

Whether it's from the Juneau Empire, the Alaska Journal of Commerce, Homer News, The Star, Capital City Weekly, The Associated Press or your own daily Clarion -- if it has to do with the session, you'll find it here.

You'll find the new link on our Web site. Take a look, let us know what you think and keep coming back.

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