September 20, 2013
JEFFERSON COUNTY – To help you get through flu season without getting extremely ill, Fort Medical Group primary care clinics are encouraging their patients to call very soon to make an appointment to receive a flu shot, which reserves a dose for them for the season. Flu shot appointments are available at some clinic locations as soon as the end of September, and will be available throughout October.
Locations to schedule a seasonal flu shot are:
Medicare and most insurance plans cover the cost of a seasonal flu vaccine. If you are unsure of your level of coverage, please check with your insurance carrier. Fort HealthCare participates in most insurance plans, including Dean Care, Dean Care Gold, Unity, Physicians Plus, Mercy Care, Humana, United Healthcare and more. For a complete listing, visit FortHealthCare.com/Insurance.
Flu symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills and fatigue. Annual outbreaks of seasonal flu usually occur during the late fall through early spring. In a typical year, approximately 5 to 20 percent of the population gets the seasonal flu and approximately 36,000 flu-related deaths are reported.
Influenza spreads from person-to-person through coughing or sneezing or by touching something with the flu virus present and then touching eyes, nose or mouth. The virus can cause mild to severe illness; and in some cases, can lead to death. Prevention is the key to avoiding getting ill. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year. Persons who are patients of Fort Medical Group primary care clinics are encouraged to call their physician’s office to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine.
Besides getting a flu vaccine, hand hygiene is one of the most important things you can do to prevent infections. At all times, but especially during the cold and flu season, individuals should wash their hands often to prevent the spread of infections, especially after touching objects or surfaces that many different people may have come into contact with. Also, wash before eating and after using the restroom. Soap and water and alcohol-based hand sanitizer solution are equally effective and are readily available in many public locations such as grocery stores, banks and at Fort Memorial Hospital, where protection of patients is always a concern.
Steps to properly wash hands, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are:
The entire process should take 20 seconds. Learn more at FortHealthCare.com/Flu.