Flu shots available at 509th MDG

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Cowen and Airman 1st Class Christine Jackson
  • 509th Medical Operations Squadron, Public Health
Are you feeling under the weather? Are you experiencing a fever, runny nose, coughing, and/or body aches? Influenza or “the Flu” is defined as a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system and some it’s the symptoms are:
• Fever
• Chills
• Sore Throat
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Body Aches
• Headaches
• Fatigue

• Some people, especially children, may have vomiting and diarrhea
The majority of people who get the flu will fully recover in a few days; however, some people may develop complications. Some of these problems include pneumonia, bronchitis, and/or ear infections. The people who are most at risk for developing flu-related complications are:
• People 65 years and older
• Persons with chronic medical conditions
• Pregnant females
• Young children.

The influenza virus is spread through coughing or sneezing, but it can also be spread by an infected person touching a surface or object. Germs can be spread from one person to another from up to six feet away! Most healthy adults may be able to infect other people beginning one day before they even experience symptoms and five to seven days afterwards. That is why it is so important to practice social distancing (staying at least three feet away from the next person) or stay home if possible when you are ill.

You may be wondering what else you could do to prevent yourself from getting sick. The answer is wash your hands often! Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. You can also use hand-sanitizer. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with flu germs.

Tamiflu is a prescription antiviral medication which may be used to treat the flu (influenza) in people two weeks of age and older who have had flu symptoms for no more than two days. However, Tamiflu does not “cure” the flu, but it may shorten the course of infection.

“The 2017-2018 flu season is off to an early start in Missouri. As of Nov. 25th, 2017, there were 1,545 cases of the flu reported to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, compared to 379 cases reported at the same time last year.” According to www.health.mo.gov, influenza cases occur annually, but it is difficult to predict how severe the strain will be.

Getting your annual flu vaccine is the best preventive measure to avoid contracting the flu or to decrease influenza symptoms.

“Prevention is always better than treatment,” according to Dr. Jeffrey Jahre, the senior vice president of medical and academic affairs from St. Luke’s University Health Network. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months of age and older get the vaccine. Those who are younger than six months, immunocompromised, or those who have had documented adverse reactions to the vaccine should discuss it with their health care provider prior to receiving the vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration has classified the vaccine as safe during pregnancy.

The 509th Medical Group Immunizations Clinic is now offering the Flu Shot to all TRICARE Beneficiaries. They are located on the 1st floor of the medical clinic and duty hours are 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. If you have any questions about the vaccine please give the clinic a call at 660-687-4304.

For more information, please go to the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/index.html