By U.S. ArmySeptember 16, 2011
It's flu season and Fort Sill is ready -- You should be, too.
The Center for Disease Control recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first, most important step to prevent getting sick. Take these two simple steps to prevent the spread of influenza and ensure a healthy holiday season.
1. Get a flu shot. TRICARE beneficiaries may receive the influenza vaccine at a TRICARE retail network pharmacy at no cost . On Fort Sill, Reynolds Army Community Hospital will hold mass inoculation clinics for beneficiaries age 3 and older at Family Medical Home No. 1 Clinic, 1st floor of RACH on Oct. 7 from 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.; and every Saturday Oct. 15 through Nov. 5, from 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
All children under 3 and pregnant women should use the Immunization Clinic at RACH across from the Main Pharmacy, weekdays from 7:30 a.m. -- 4 p.m. TRICARE beneficiaries still needing the influenza vaccination after the last Saturday clinic can get vaccinated through the RACH Immunization Clinic. Bring your shot record and military ID card.
Step 2. Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and immediately throw the tissue in the trash. Wash your hands with soap and water often. Only use the alcohol-based hand rub when soap and water is not available.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Avoid close contact with sick people. Most importantly, if you get sick with a flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care.
For most people, flu symptoms last only a few days and typically are not life threatening. Children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and those over age 65, however, are at high risk of getting very sick because of flu symptoms.
This year's vaccine protects against three different types of flu viruses to include the 2009 H1N1 virus, the virus that caused so much illness in the past.
By getting vaccinated you can protect yourself and others from influenza. Call the Fort Sill flu vaccine hotline at 558-3333 for more information on the vaccine, who should not get the vaccine, the latest on flu clinics, and any updates throughout the season. Information can also be found at www.cdc.gov/flu.