Once the weather starts getting colder and activities move inside, coughs and sniffles typically begin spreading like wildfire.
Kim Keefe, who works in the nurse’s office at the Saugerties Junior-Senior High School, said that the illnesses she’s seen have been “low-key so far.” Student health-related absences have not been as numerous as in other years, she reports.
Renee Sieczkowski, who works at the Rite Aid pharmacy in Barclay Heights, said that at the beginning of the school year she saw a number of children visiting the pharmacy with colds, but nothing out of the ordinary. She has yet to see anyone with the flu, though she says that she has seen many more people come in for their flu shots this year.
Sieczkowski believes that since the flu season was so bad last year, Saugertiesians are doing all they can to avoid it this year. She attributes increased vaccinations to a successful ad campaign. She said the vaccine she has been administering is a quadrivalent vaccine, which means that it contains four different strains that experts predict will be most common this season.
Neal Smoller, owner of the Village Apothecary on Market St., says that he, too, has yet to see a case of the flu in his pharmacy. He has seen run-of-the-mill colds, as well as 24- and 48-hour stomach bugs recently. Like Sieczkowski, he has also been administering more flu vaccines than in years past. “People are more willing to get that taken care of” than previously, he said.
Smoller says that last year’s flu season was “late and heavy,” and this year he is expecting to see the same, with the season really getting into full swing in late November or early December.
It takes two weeks for the flu shot to become effective, so the sooner the better, say Saugerties pharmacists.