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Aurora Visiting Nurse Association to Bring Flu Clinics to Marquette Men's and Women's Basketball Games

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Milwaukee, Wis. -- With at least 15 reported flu cases in Wisconsin as of the end of November, the Aurora Visiting Nurse Association of Wisconsin is trying to ensure that as many people as possible are protected against the flu.

The new year is right around the corner, and so is the peak flu season, at the end of January to February.

So, the VNA is offering Shoo the Flu & Pneumonia Too! vaccination clinics at two Marquette basketball games in December: the men's game Sunday, Dec. 28, at the Bradley Center, and the women's game Wednesday, Dec. 31, at the Al McGuire Center on the MU campus.

"Although the games are guaranteed to be fun, the flu is serious business," said Lisa Taylor, RN, clinical coordinator for Aurora VNA. "Nationally, it kills more than 36,000 people yearly -- including 78 children last year -- and causes 200,000 hospitalizations. In Wisconsin, 5% to 25% of the population, depending on location, gets the flu each year."

Taylor noted that flu germs can live on nonporous surfaces -- doorknobs, grocery carts, bathroom handles -- for up to 48 hours, and five minutes on hands, so spreading the flu is really easy.
"And only half the people infected with the virus exhibit symptoms, so they can spread it without even knowing it," she said. "After infection, it can take up to four days for people who do exhibit symptoms to get sick, so they can spread the flu during that time, too."

At the Marquette games, the Aurora Visiting Nurse Association will immunize individuals age 9 and older. Kids 9 to 18 must be accompanied by a guardian who can sign a consent form. Pneumonia vaccinations are recommended for those 65 or older, or under 65 with chronic health conditions such as diabetes or heart or lung diseases.

Medicare Part B and Medicaid cover the cost of flu and pneumonia vaccinations. For others, flu shots cost $30; pneumonia shots are $45.

Aurora VNA is a not-for-profit agency that has been committed to keeping people independent in their homes since 1907, and is the most comprehensive source of home care services in eastern Wisconsin. Aurora VNA is part of Aurora Health Care, a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care.

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Linda Steiner

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