With the flu season off to a strong start in Pennsylvania and the nation, it's not too late to still protect yourself.
There are plenty of places in Palmer and Forks townships where you can get a flu shot.
In Forks, you can get a flu shot at Walgreen's or CVS on Sullivan Trail or at Giant in the Giant Shopping Center.
In Palmer, the Walgreen's and Giant on 25th Street offer flu shots as well. So does the Palmer Pharmacy.
In nearby Lower Nazareth Township, people can get flu shots at Wegmans and Target on Route 248.
For other places, check out this flu vaccine finder map.
Also, other places -- hospitals, urgent care facilities and wellness centers -- are close by to treat the flu or provide vaccines.
If you think you may have the flu, here's a list of nearby locations that can help confirm it. Click on the name to see hours and days open:
- Northstar Urgent Care, Route 248, Lower Nazareth Township
- Easton Hospital, Wilson Borough
- St. Luke's Anderson Campus, Bethlehem Township
- Easton Hospital wellness center, Sullivan Trail, Forks Township.
Local Catholics will see two changes at Masses this weekend as a result of the flu outbreak. Allentown Diocese Bishop John Barres announced Friday there will be:
- No drinking from a chalice during holy communion.
- No physical contact during the sign of peace. (Instead of a handshake, parishioners may bow or nod to their fellow worshipers.)
These directives are temporary and will remain in effect until the bishop withdraws them.
The flu season was off to an early start in December and is now considered one of the worst outbreaks in years, according to the state Department of Health.
The good news is that it's not too late to get a flu shot, according to Dr. Jeffrey Jahre, chief of infectious diseases at St. Luke's University Health Network.
The outbreak has claimed more than 20 lives in Pennsylvania and a toddler in the Lehigh Valley and was also bad enough for Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Salisbury Township to open a separate emergency room Tuesday, Jan. 8, for patients experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Influenza—more commonly known as simply "the flu"—is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses infecting the nose, throat and lungs. It spreads via infected people coughing, sneezing or talking, though people can also get infected by touching something with the flu virus on it before touching their mouth, eyes or nose.
Symptoms of the flu include muscle or body aches, headache, cough, sore throat, fatigue, fever or chills, and vomiting and diarrhea (the latter two are more common in kids). The flu can also worsen chronic medical conditions or cause death.
List your comments below about other places in Palmer and Forks or the region where to get flu shots.