Organizations team up to fight the spread of flu at Sundance Film Festival

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah remains one of the states with widespread flu this season. This week alone, more than 100 Utahns were hospitalized with the virus--and with 50,000 people expected to travel to Utah for the upcoming Sundance Film Festival, Intermountain Healthcare is hoping to make flu shots a little more convenient.

“You’re in close quarters on an airplane and you’re mixing a lot of people together in such a small space, that’s always a concern for travelers,” Registered Nurse Raeann White of Intermountain Healthcare said.

Preparations for the upcoming Sundance Film Festival are in full swing, and Intermountain Healthcare has teamed up with Salt Lake International Airport with a plan to prevent further spreading of the already rampant influenza virus.

“Anytime you have travelers coming in and out of Utah, or even the country, you’re always a little concerned with what they may be bringing in,” White said.

The flu has affected many in Utah already this season, with nearly 900 Utahns being hospitalized.

“This year, the flu season started to peak right after Thanksgiving, and, of course, with Christmas just mushroomed,” White said.

In an effort to combat the flu and help festival-goers stay healthy, Intermountain Healthcare has opened a Flu Shot Clinic inside the airport’s Terminal 2, between concourses C and D. The hope is that most of the 50,000 people traveling into town will already be vaccinated.

“Hopefully that’s the case, but, if not, it’s not too late to get the flu vaccine,” White said.

The clinic is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Flu shots are just $25.

Even with the comparatively low effectiveness of this season’s flu shot, health experts strongly encourage people to get the flu shot. It helps prevent the flu and minimizes symptoms and the length of illness if one does contract it.