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Drive-thru seasonal flu vaccine clinic to be held Oct. 22

Drive-thru seasonal flu vaccine clinic to be held Oct. 22

Sarasota County -- A drive-thru flu vaccine clinic will take place at The Tabernacle Church in north Sarasota on Saturday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Organizers ask that everyone only use the entrance located on University Parkway at Tabernacle Drive, just east of Whitfield Avenue in north Sarasota.

“The drive-thru is a good option for people using oxygen or who have difficulty walking, parents with small children, and anyone who prefers the drive-thru convenience,” said Joan Surso, a registered nurse and Sarasota County Health Department community adult immunization coordinator.

This venue is also intended to serve as a test site for the county’s drive-thru response plan intended to protect the public from any future infectious disease pandemics, as well as bioterrorism or other public health threats. Health officials say that the drive-thru distribution is one of several methods of getting people medications or vaccinations as quickly as possible to help reduce the impact of a large outbreak of illness in Sarasota County.

County: Vaccinations are your best defense against several flu viruses

County: Vaccinations are your best defense against several flu viruses

Sarasota County, Florida -- Along with the approaching fall and winter seasons comes an expected increase in seasonal flu viruses. Getting a flu shot is your best defense against several flu viruses.

“Having a bout with the flu can interrupt your life for five to seven days, preventing you from working and caring for loved ones, and may even require hospitalization,” says Sarasota County Health Department community adult immunization coordinator Joan Surso. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone six months and older get their annual flu vaccine as the best defense against influenza.”

This year’s seasonal flu vaccine protects against three different flu viruses and is a good match for the types of circulating flu viruses. The CDC urges everyone to get vaccinated each flu season since immune protection declines over time. Getting the flu vaccine helps provide optimal protection against these viruses which are a potential threat to health in those who are unvaccinated.

Resort's soap collection helps save lives

Resort's soap collection helps save lives

Longboat Key, Florida - When a vacationer washes the sand off their feet at the Longboat Key Club & Resort, eventually, somewhere across the globe, that very same soap could help save a child's life.

The resort is now partnering with the Clean the World organization. That group focuses on the collection, repurposing and global distribution of much needed cleaning products to countries around the world.

According to Clean the World, 3.5 million children under the age of five will die this year due to two deadly diseases - acute respiratory infection and diarrheal disease - and many of those deaths can be prevented by simple hand-washing.  By collecting and donating slightly used soaps and amenities, the resort's effort can help save lives.

Free benefits cut for Venice retirees

Free benefits cut for Venice retirees

VENICE, Fla. -- City council members faced with major cuts to Venice's budget found another way to save money: benefits for certain city retirees.

Tuesday, council members voted to end free health benefits for their retired colleagues. Certain city charter and city council members received benefits without any personal contribution. Going forward, those retirees must pay a premium for health insurance like most others.

The Venice City Attorney approved the changes which will go in to effect January 1st.

Sarasota detects West Nile virus in Sentinel Chicken

Sarasota detects West Nile virus in Sentinel Chicken

Sarasota, Florida-The West Nile virus has been detected in Sarasota County according to mosquito management services officials. One chicken among the 13 sentinel flocks has tested positive for the mosquito-borne infection. County officials say they are not too concern yet because it's just one chicken testing positive. If more show up county officials say they will spray the area.

This summer there have been 8 human cases in people so far in Florida this summer. West Nile virus can cause neurological damage. Symptoms include headache, fever, pain and fatigue.

Mobile health services offered at 16 county sites in September

Mobile health services offered at 16 county sites in September

The Sarasota County Health Department’s Health In Motion Mobile Medical Unit staff will provide free and low-cost health services at 16 sites around the county during September.

The services offered at these regularly established sites include diabetes education and screening, blood pressure tests, pregnancy testing, HIV and tuberculosis testing, adult immunizations and health education. The staff also assists individuals who lack medical insurance and do not have a health care provider to find a medical home for ongoing health care.

No appointment is needed. Some services are free, including HIV rapid testing with results in 20 minutes. Other services are provided on a sliding-fee scale based on income. A registered nurse is available at all sites.

The following is a schedule of dates and locations for the mobile unit:

Public reminded to protect against mosquito-borne viruses

Public reminded to protect against mosquito-borne viruses

Sarasota County, Florida -- Local health officials remind residents that mosquito activity is increasing in Sarasota County as the typical summer rain pattern continues. Currently, our sentinel chicken flocks, which serve as an indicator of mosquito-borne illness in our community, have shown some evidence of West Nile Virus (WNV) transmission in Sarasota County.

WNV is a potentially serious illness that is most often spread by the bite from an infected mosquito.

Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread WNV to humans and other animals when they bite.