FORT LEE, Va. (Aug. 31, 2017) -- It’s influenza season and the installation is prepared to start vaccinations soon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highly recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in preventing this illness.
For most, flu symptoms only last a few days and are typically not life threatening. Children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and those over the age of 65 are at high-risk of getting sick. Flu shots are recommended for everyone, aged six months and older.
A flu shot protects against three or four strains of the virus. Trivalent flu vaccines protect against two A strains -- H1N1 and H3N2 -- and one influenza B strain. Quadrivalent flu vaccines, offered for the first time in the 2013-2014 flu season, protect against the same strains as the trivalent vaccine, as well as an extra influenza B strain. Just like the last season, the flu nasal spray is not recommended for anyone during the 2017-2018 period.
Take these two simple steps to prevent the spread of influenza and ensure a healthy holiday season:
• Take the time to get a flu shot. The Kenner Army Health Clinic will offer the flu shot to TRICARE beneficiaries ages 3 and older Oct. 21, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., at the annual Kenner Volksmarch. They will be given inside the clinic on the 1st floor. Beneficiaries can also visit the Main Exchange Nov. 4, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., to get their vaccination. Remember to bring shot records and a military I.D. card. Clinic staff highly discourage active duty service members from receiving vaccines at outside facilities as this potentially affects Fort Lee readiness numbers and MEDPROS updates.
• Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs. Cover your nose and mouth with tissue when coughing or sneezing and throw the tissue in the trash after use. Wash hands with soap and water often. Only use the alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Avoid close contact with sick people.
By getting vaccinated, people can protect themselves and others from influenza. Call the Fort Lee hotline at (804) 734-9266 for more information on the vaccine, who should not get it, the latest information on flu clinics and any updates throughout the season. Information also can be found at www.cdc.gov/flu