Not getting a flu shot? It may cost you.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 | 8:24 p.m. CST; updated 2:46 a.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

COLUMBIA — Although the idea of standing in line for a flu shot may not seem enticing, people should be aware of the alternatives before making their decision.

The flu can lead to further complications, such as ear infections, chronic illness and dehydration, according to a Columbia/Boone County Health Department news release.

Fighting the flu

ColumbiaCare, is the Missourian's seasonal health blog. To follow the flu coverage, click here. The Columbia/Boone County Health Department offers flu shots. The health department's hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and walk-ins are welcome.

The American Lung Association Web site says that viral-related illnesses, such as the flu, account for 50 percent of pneumonia occurrences.

A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that on average, 200,000 Americans are hospitalized with flu-related complications each year. The study also found that the amount of those infected with the flu has steadily increased over the years.

The costs of getting the flu can differ depending on your age. Those who are 60 years old or older are at the greatest risk of dying from the flu, according to a Health Department news release.

“Less than 50 percent of folks over 65 are getting flu shots,” said Chris Coffman, public health nurse supervisor for the health department

Coffman also said that due to their underdeveloped immune systems, children are at high risk of developing the flu.

Coffman said the flu is spread through coughing, so it can spread rapidly if people do not take precautions, such as covering their mouths and washing their hands.

Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.