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October 23, 2014

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Feature Story

Flu Prevention

Its time to get your flu shot!  Vaccination is the best protection against contracting the flu. According to the website www.flu.gov, which provides comprehensive government-wide information on the flu, everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu this year.  While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it's especially important that the following groups get vaccinated:

  1. Pregnant Women
  2. Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  3. People 50 years of age and older
  4. People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
  5. People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  6. People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
  • Health Care Workers
  • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
  • Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)


How do I protect myself and my family?
1.  Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue into the trash. If you don't have tissue, cough into your upper arm or a part of your clothing. Try not to cough into your hands because germs are then left on the things we touch.

2.  Wash your hands. It is important to wash your hands often to kill germs you may have picked up from shaking hands or from things you have touched. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Count to 20 to make sure you wash long enough. Use alcohol based hand wipes and gel sanitizers when you can't wash with soap and water.

3.  Clean with bleach. Add a capful of bleach to a cup of water to clean surfaces that are frequently touched in your home or workplace, like cell phones, tabletops, door knobs, counters, and sinks. Your bleach mixture is easy to use if your put it into a small spray bottle.

4. Go to the doctor. Both children and adults, who are very sick or have fevers over 100 degrees, should go to the doctor. Common flu symptoms include, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, feeling very tired or fever. Common colds or seasonal allergies usually don't include the fever.

5.  If you are sick, please stay home from work or school. Illnesses are passed from person to person. Staying home helps protect other people from getting your sickness. Call your local hospital or clinic if you have questions.

Visit the CDC Website for more information. Here are some additional useful information, from the Center for Disease Control.

What are the signs and symptoms of this virus in people?
The symptoms of this new H1N1 flu virus in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting.  Also, like seasonal flu, severe illnesses and death has occurred as a result of illness associated with this virus.

How severe is illness associated with this new H1N1 virus?
Its not known at this time how severe this virus will be in the general population. CDC is studying the medical histories of people who have been infected with this virus to determine whether some people may be at greater risk from infection, serious illness or hospitalization from the virus. In seasonal flu, there are certain people that are at higher risk of serious flu-related complications. This includes people 65 years and older, children younger than five years old, pregnant women, and people of any age with chronic medical conditions. Its unknown at this time whether certain groups of people are at greater risk of serious flu-related complications from infection with this new virus. CDC also is conducting laboratory studies to see if certain people might have natural immunity to this virus, depending on their age.

How does this new H1N1 virus spread?
Spread of this H1N1 virus is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.



Flu Clinic Schedule 2013/14:
  

  NOVEMBER:
18th: 12:00pm to 3:00pm at the Old "Bistro" Restaurant in Window Rock, AZ*
19th: 10:00am to 1:00pm at the Old "Bistro" Restaurant in Window Rock, AZ*
19th: 3:30pm to 6:30pm at the Dibe Yazhi Habitiin Olta BIE School (Borrego Pass)
21st: 9:00am to 3:00pm, at the Tohatchi Chapter House. For eligible Indian/Native American Beneficiaries only. Offerd by Tohatchi Health Center. For questions, coktact Tohatchi Public Health Nursing Dept at 505.733.8345
26th: 11:00am to 7:00pm at the Old "Bistro" Restaurant in Window Rock, AZ*
    *Tse'Hoot Tsooi' Public Health Nursing Dept will be situated in the big covered canopy on the sidewalk, outside the Old Bistro Restaurant. If the weather transforms to bad weather conditions, we will move the flu clinic inside the Lowes Grocery Store. The outdoor clinic will be a wat of interacting with the community and fuve us the opportunity to raise awareness to the importance of flu vaccinations and public helath's role in ensuring a healthy Navajo Nation. Should you have questions, please contact THTMC PHN at 928.729.8470/8471 or 8492.

DECEMBER:
05th: 3:30pm to 6:30pm at the T'iis Tso'ozi Bi' Olta Community School (Crownpoint, NM)
12th: 3:30pm to 6:30pm at the Lake Valley Navajo School

JANUARY:
08th:  4:00pm to 7:00pm at the Crownpoint Hospital
22nd: 4:00pm to 7:00pm at the Thoreau Clinic
28th: 4:00pm to 7:00pm at the Navajo Technical University


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