|January 13, 2014 - With seasonal flu activity high in Tennessee and especially in East Tennessee, the Knox County Health Department (KCHD) is encouraging everyone to follow some basic precautions to slow the spread of the influenza virus and stay healthy.
"As we begin to see more and more cases of influenza this flu season, we want to remind everyone of some simple steps they can take to help keep themselves, their families and especially the medically fragile healthy," said KCHD Director Dr. Martha Buchanan. "First and foremost, if you haven't gotten your flu vaccine, please get one now."
KCHD will provide free flu vaccinations to any person living in Knox County while supplies last. Those interested can receive vaccinations at KCHD's main location, 140 Dameron Ave., or the West Clinic, 1028 Old Cedar Bluff Rd., beginning Monday, Jan. 13. Clinics are open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. KCHD's Teague Clinic, 405 Dante Rd., in North Knoxville will remain closed Monday, Jan. 13 for repairs from a burst pipe.
Basic Precautions Against Influenza:
Wash your hands well and often. Scrub your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer than contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
Cover your cough or sneeze. People with flu can spread it to others up to six feet away. Most experts believe flu viruses are predominately spread by droplets produced when people cough, sneeze or talk.
Stay home if you're sick and keep your children home if they are. Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
Limit visits to sick friends and relatives in the hospital. Area hospitals are seeing an increase in flu patients. To protect yourself from the flu, postpone visits to the hospital.
If you are sick, please do not visit the elderly, children or those who have chronic health conditions.
Remember it's not too late to get vaccinated. A flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and those around you from influenza and its potentially serious complications.
These steps are especially important to protect those with a higher risk for complications, including children younger than 5 and especially those under 2; people age 65 and older; pregnant women; and people with certain chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and asthma. Symptoms of influenza can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, runny nose, tiredness, diarrhea and vomiting. People with a high risk for flu complications should see their health care provider if they experience any of these symptoms.
About Knox County Health Department:
The Knox County Health Department (KCHD) is a governmental agency dedicated to making every person a healthy person. KCHD conducts disease surveillance, prevention and control; emergency preparedness; nutrition and physical activity promotion; tobacco use prevention and control; health equity promotion; adult and child immunizations; and much more. KCHD's mission is to encourage, promote and assure the development of an active, healthy community through innovative public health practices. For more information, visit www.knoxcounty.org/health.