Guarding against a flu outbreak, Crow Wing County commissioners approved a plan to have medicines ready for potential flu victims.
Joyce Mueller, Crow Wing County public health nurse director, said the antivirals are used to treat people who get the flu. One flu case was reported in Minnesota so far this season. Commissioners, who met as the Board of Health Tuesday, agreed the antivirals should be available to pharmacies and hospitals to treat the sick.
The county is getting 50 FluMist doses, a nasal flu vaccine, and has the opportunity to receive more doses. The live virus is a frozen vaccine and has special storage requirements so the county is handling the administration.
Commissioners agreed they would administer the FluMist at cost, roughly $16 a dose, and not add an administrative fee. Chairman Terry Sluss said the focus should be on saving people in the high-risk categories facing complications with the flu.
Flu vaccine update
Crow Wing County will receive 1,250 flu vaccine doses.
The county has 50 FluMist doses, recommended for healthy people between the ages of 5 and 49. Another 70 may be ordered.
A national flu vaccine shortage was announced when Chiron Corp., which supplies about 50 percent of the nation's flu vaccine, was found to have a sterility problem in its Liverpool, England, facility.
Commissioner Gary Walters asked if public health has talked about potential school closings if a flu outbreak occurred. Mueller said they have talked to school nurses. She said studies have found school closings do not limit an outbreak.
Mueller said if the experience in the southern hemisphere is an indication, the flu season could be mild this season.
RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
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