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October 20, 2015 • Headline News
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‘Tis the season... for flu shots

Mary Mattingly

State and local health officials are urging Hoosiers to get their flu vaccinations to protect themselves from influenza this season. “At best, the flu makes you miserable. At worst, it can be deadly,” said Indiana State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H. “The best way to protect yourself and your family are to get vaccinated and follow good health practices.”

Ripley County Indiana Health Department gives flu shots


Pictured left, Ripley County Health Nurse Amy Watson gives Rita Ridner a flu vaccine Monday at Buckeye Village in Osgood. (Click the photo to access the Ripley County Indiana Health Department website for more information.)

Vicky Powell, Ripley County health administrator/public health nurse, agrees, and said her staff is ready to administer flu vaccines to adults and children. The county’s supply comes from the state. She attended a state health board meeting recently and said, “I think we have good coverage this year.” The quadrivalent vaccines cover four strains, two A and two B strains, including H1N1; however, they won’t be getting the flu mist, which is for children ages 2 to 8, until after Thanksgiving. Influenza, or the “flu,” is a viral infection of the respiratory tract. Influenza is spread by respiratory droplets from infected people or contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. Infection can occur when influenza viruses contact the eyes, mouth or nose, and possibly through inhaling droplets from a sneeze or cough. Sometimes people may become infected by touching surfaces or objects contaminated with influenza viruses and then touching their eyes, mouth or nose.

Symptoms of the flu include:
• Fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater
• Headache 
• Fatigue
• Cough
• Muscle aches
• Sore throat

Flu season occurs annually, typically starting around October and continuing through May. “October is the start of the season. People tend to think if they get through the holidays they are fine, but the flu peaks in January and February,” Powell commented. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu. Seasonal flu viruses can vary from year to year; so, it is important to get a flu vaccine every year to protect against them. It is estimated that only 44.7 percent of Hoosiers received a flu vaccine during the 2014-15 season and almost half of all Hoosier children ages 6 months to 17 years did not receive a flu vaccine. The flu vaccine may be offered by many doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, urgent care centers, pharmacies, college health centers and employers. This year, the health department is going to South Ripley schools to administer the vaccine to those with parental permission.

Powell suggested checking with physicians as some do not offer it. Drug stores, like CVS and George’s also offer flu protection. The county health department charges $10 for the vaccine for an adult. If the person has Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Sagamore/Cigna or Tri-Care insurance, the county health department will then bill them accordingly. Otherwise, the cost is $10 for adults with no insurance or underinsured. It’s free for children without adequate insurance coverage.

Although anyone can get the flu, some people are at higher risk of complications that could lead to hospitalization and even death. High-risk individuals include pregnant women, young children (especially those younger than 6 months who cannot be vaccinated), those with chronic illnesses and/or compromised immune systems and adults age 65 and older. Appointments are preferred because the county health staff is not always at the clinic. The number to call is 812-689-0506. Hours at the health department are Monday through Friday 8 to 4 p.m.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 5 percent to 20 percent of people nationwide contract the flu each year, and more than 200,000 people nationwide are hospitalized for illnesses related to influenza infection. The CDC and the Indiana State Department of Health recommend annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older. To learn more about the flu, visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s flu page at

Seaplane piloted by local man capsizes into river

Mary Mattingly

A seaplane piloted by a Milan man crashed into the Ohio River near the IKE plant Wednesday, Oct. 14. The plane is registered to Troy MacVey of Milan. He owns Mac’s Seaplane service in Rising Sun and another plane service in North Vernon. No one was injured when the plane capsized in the early evening.

MacVey reported he was taking off, building up speed and was going about 65 mph, when it hit some debris and lost speed. There was a hole the size of a softball in one pontoon float which caused it to nose dive, and then quickly sink. “It all happened really quick,” MacVey said. They were upside down and he was staring face down at the instrument panel when the water came in. They were buckled in, but the water actually helped to loosen their way out. As they always do, he said they went over procedures before takeoff in case of an accident. “They were out in a matter of seconds,” he said, and no one had a bump or bruise. He and his three passengers were all wearing life jackets, and swam to shore. The plane fell in the middle of the river.

MacVey was taking the group of friends back from a Madison restaurant when he ran into the bad luck. He was able to secure the plane to a tree and thought he could float it back to Rising Sun and get it to the hangar. They built a fire on the shore to keep warm as they waited for a pick-up. It was a pretty warm evening, which helped he said. MacVey figures repairs will be made in time to fly it again in the spring. It is their largest plane of five in Rising Sun. He’s owned the business for about four years. The Federal Aviation Administation is investigating. crash.

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