NEW! Free flu shots available October 22
Roll up your sleeve! That’s how easy it is to get protected from the flu this fall and winter, thanks to the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department. Free flu shots will be given 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22. This year, there is a new location for your free flu vaccination: Consolidated Baptist Church’s Andrew Center at 1625 Russell Cave Road.
Make your wait time for this event shorter! Print this form and fill it out before you get there:
We are prepared to give up to as many as 1,500 shots that afternoon. The seasonal flu shot is recommended to all people ages 6 months and older. Last year, Lexington had 179 confirmed cases of the flu. The health department provided 2,198 vaccinations throughout the season, including 1,500 at the free flu shot clinic.
For community members not able to get their flu shots at the special free clinic, the health department will offer flu shots 9-3 p.m. Monday through Thursday at its Public Health Clinic at 650 Newtown Pike starting Oct. 1. No appointment is necessary, and the cost for a flu shot is $30. Medicaid/Medicare, cash, checks, credit cards and some insurances are accepted.
Click here for more information or call the flu hotline, (859) 288-7529.
NEW! Needle Exchange program begins September 4
The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department’s needle-exchange program will be held 1:30-4 p.m. Fridays at 650 Newtown Pike starting Sept. 4. The free, anonymous and confidential program is designed to reduce the spread of HIV and hepatitis in Lexington. Used needles must be brought in to receive clean needles. Click here to find out more about the program.
In addition to free needles, the program will offer testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, educational materials and a safe disposal of dirty needles. Referrals and counseling can be made available for those who test positive for HIV or who are seeking drug treatment or other health and social services.
The Bluegrass Region, which covers 17 counties including Fayette County, has seen HIV numbers grow from 75 cases in 2011 to 107 in 2013, the most recent year numbers are available. Additionally, Kentucky has the nation’s highest per capita rate for hepatitis C.
Lexington’s needle-exchange program is possible because the 2015 Kentucky General Assembly enacted legislation allowing health departments to operate exchange programs. Lexington’s needle-exchange has been approved by the Lexington-Fayette County Board of Health and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council.
Do you want to find out how our needle-exchange program will work? Watch this short video that walks you through the basics for what to expect when visiting our needle-exchange program.
NEW! Proper hand-washing can help fight rising spread of gastrointestinal illness
An increase in gastrointestinal illnesses has the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department encouraging parents, schools, daycare centers, food service workers and healthcare providers to take precautionary actions to prevent its spread. Shigellosis is a highly contagious form of diarrhea caused by Shigella bacteria and is spread through person-to-person contact. Symptoms last 48-72 hours and include severe diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. To prevent Shigellosis, the health department offers the following tips:
- Wash hands with soap carefully and frequently, especially after going to the bathroom, after changing diapers and before preparing food or beverages.
- Do not prepare food for others while ill with diarrhea.
- Sick children and adults should stay home until cleared by a doctor to return to school or work.
- Keep children with diarrhea out of childcare settings and common play areas.
- Supervise hand-washing of toddlers and small children after they use the toilet.
- Dispose of soiled diapers properly.
- Disinfect diaper-changing areas after using them.
- Avoid swallowing water from ponds, lakes or untreated pools.