Spiking cases of influenza prompted the La Crosse County Health Department to extend immunization hours for flu shots to 6 p.m. on Feb. 5.

The flu shots, which are free for children ages 6 months through 18 years of age, also are available at the health department during regular business from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The shots are by appointment and as long as supplies last.

Call department’s Public Health Nursing at 608-785-9723 to schedule an appointment on the second floor of the department headquarters at 300 N. Fourth St.

The cost for people 19 and older is $33 for a Fluzone quadrivalent injection and $60 for a Fluzone high-dose injection, which is formulated for people 65 and older.

Some insurance companies will cover the cost, but you should call the health department to inquire.

Influenza is a serious disease that comes on quickly and causes high fever, body aches, headache, sore throat, fatigue, runny/stuffy nose and cough. It can cause pneumonia and make existing medical conditions worse.

Young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women and people with heart, lung or kidney disease can get much sicker, but even healthy children and adults can get very sick from the flu and spread it to family and friends.

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Reporter

Mike Tighe is the Tribune newsroom's senior citizen. That said, he don't get no respect from the cub reporters as he goes about his duly-appointed rounds on the health, religion and whatever-else-lands-in-his-inbox beats. Call him at 608-791-8446.

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