| YOU can prevent the FLU!
 

 

 OCT 2012 - All Hands Update: NMCSD Issues Flu Shots

 

Updated  January 11, 2013

 

Influenza (also known as the “flu”) is caused by a contagious virus that affects the nose, throat and lungs. It is different from the common cold. Often influenza causes mild illness, but in some people it can be serious or fatal. The most effective prevention against influenza is vaccination. Flu vaccine is now available for all eligible beneficiaries at NMC San Diego and Medical Home Port clinic sites. This year national public health authorities recommend that everyone more than six months old get vaccinated for flu. People unable to get vaccinated before flu season starts can still benefit by getting a flu shot during the flu season. So get your flu shot NOW if you haven’t had one yet! Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) has plenty of flu vaccine available and will continue to offer flu vaccinations to beneficiaries throughout the flu season.

 

Call the NMCSD Flu Hotline at 619-532-5FLU for the latest information about availability of various flu vaccine types and vaccination hours at NMCSD clinics and NMCSD walk-in shot station. The station provides for patients 12 years and older for injectable vaccine and Flumist for patients 2-49 years and healthy. The station is located in Building 1 across from Medical Records.

 

TRICARE beneficiaries, including active duty personnel, can also receive flu vaccination at no cost at participating TRICARE retail network pharmacies. Active duty personnel that use this option must take the pharmacy documentation back to their command within 24 hours for entry in readiness databases. For more information about the Tricare retail pharmacy option: http://www.tricare.mil/flu/flucoverage.aspx.

 

FDA approved a high-dose flu vaccine for people 65 years old and older. Although NMCSD is not receiving this particular vaccine this season, it is available to Tricare beneficiaries at some of the Tricare retail network pharmacies.

 

 

To Keep From Getting Influenza (Flu):

  • Avoid exposure to sick people if possible.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Get vaccinated!

 

This year the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone six months old and older should get vaccinated for the flu. Vaccination is especially recommended for these groups:

  • Children 6-59 months old
  • People 50 years old and older
  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone with chronic medical conditions that increase their risk of complications from flu
  • Anyone with immunosuppression
  • Household contacts and other caregivers of children less than 5 years old, or of people with chronic medical conditions that increase their risk of complications from flu
  • Healthcare workers and emergency services personnel
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • American Indians/Alaska Natives
  • People that are morbidly obese

 

If You Do Get Sick With Flu-Like Illness:  

  • Stay home until at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicines.
  • If employed, notify your supervisor.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue (proper cough etiquette), and then put your used tissue in the waste basket.
  • If you don't have a tissue, then cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer after coughing or sneezing.
  • Wear a mask when around other people.

 

Contact your medical provider within 48 hours of symptom onset if you have conditions that increase your risk for complications from the flu, such as:

 

  • Children younger than 5 years old, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • Pregnant women
  • People 65 years old and older
  • Cancer
  • Blood disorders (including sickle cell disease)
  • Chronic lung disease (including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD))
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disorders
  • Liver disorders
  • Neurological disorders (including nervous system, brain or spinal cord)

 

Seek medical care immediately if you or your children have any of these warning signs:

 

  • Fast breathing or difficulty breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

 

NMCSD staff members with influenza-like illness should contact their supervisor. We ask our healthcare workers and other staff to stay home and not be in the workplace while they have influenza-like illness.

 

For More Flu Healthcare Tips... http://www.cdc.gov/flu/whattodo.htm