As 2009 H1N1 influenza continues to spread, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has answered the need for actionable health information through partnerships with Google and county health departments.
ADHS has partnered with county health departments to create a statewide website, www.StopTheSpreadAZ.org, for the H1N1 response. Visitors can find flu shot locations by linking to the Google Flu Shot Finder, learn how to prevent flu spread, and find out what to do if they have flu-like symptoms. Arizonans without internet access can call the Arizona Flu Hotline, (877) 764-2670 to receive the same information.
The Google Flu Shot Finder is updated by ADHS with information reported by the counties on the locations, times and vaccine supply of public clinics and providers. A color code – red for seasonal flu and blue for H1N1 flu – helps users to tell the difference between the two vaccine categories.
"Our goal as a public health system is eliminate as many hurdles as we can so people can get the vaccine quickly and easily" said ADHS Interim Director Will Humble. "Shot Finder does that with a simple search of a ZIP code. People can find a clinic near their home, their work or their kids’ school.”
Along with using the Google Flu Shot Finder, the public should check with their health care provider, who can answer questions about the availability of and need for vaccines.
"Vaccination is the only way to positively not catch influenza" said Humble. "But, until your turn comes up to get the shot, everyone should be extra careful and use good old fashioned public health practices like hand washing.”
Beyond getting vaccinated against seasonal flu and H1N1 flu, ADHS asks Arizonans to continue with the following habits:
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue or your elbow or sleeve;
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer; and
- Stay home if you are sick and limit contact with others.
For more information, visit www.StopTheSpreadAZ.org