By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
“Roll up your sleeves. This won’t hurt a bit.” Nearly 200 residents heard that those words and dutifully rolled up their shirtsleeves so that nurses would give them a flu shot.
The scene didn’t take place in a hospital or a doctor’s office. The flu shots were given at state Sen. Simcha Felder’s district office in Midwood on Tuesday.
Felder (D-Borough Park-Midwood) arranged for nurses from Beth Israel Medical Center to come to the office to distribute the flu shots. Felder was offering the flu shots for free.
Close to 200 people, many of them senior citizens, came to the office that day. The free flu shot program was open to all residents in Felder’s senate district.
“I was absolutely delighted to partner with Beth Israel Medical Center to provide this invaluable and free public health service,” Felder said. “So many New Yorkers either don’t yet have health insurance or simply cannot afford to shell out for a physician’s co-payment. Providing these kinds of services is essential, and gives a much-needed boost to people’s physical and financial health,” he said.
Flu season usually peaks in January or February, according to flu.gov, but the flu bug runs on its own timetable and can bite as early as October or as late as May.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. Most medical experts believe that a person gets the flu when someone who already has the flu coughs or sneezes around them. A person can get also get the flu by touching a surface or an object that has the flu virus on it and then touching the mouth, eyes, or nose.
The symptoms of the flu, according to Web MD, include high fever, severe aches and pains in joints, muscles, and around the eyes, red, watery eyes, headaches, a dry cough and a sore throat.
While most cases last less than two weeks, the flu can be more serious for people with underlying medical conditions. People with health issues, senior citizens and children under the age of two are considered most vulnerable to complications from the flu.
To keep the flu bug at bay, doctors recommend that people wash their hands and cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
The flu shot event is part of a series of health-related programs sponsored by Felder this fall. Next up is a blood pressure screening on Wednesday, Nov. 9. For more information, call Felder’s office at 718-253-2015.