KCHD offers flu season guidelines, free vaccinations

KCHD offers flu season guidelines, free vaccinations

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - With seasonal flu activity high in East Tennessee, the Knox County Health Department is encouraging everyone to follow some basic precautions to slow the spread of the virus and stay healthy.

KCHD says the first and most important step is to get a flu vaccination if you haven't already.

The health department will provide free flu vaccinations to any person living in Knox County while supplies last.

Those interested can visit KCHD's main location, 140 Dameron Avenue, or the West Clinic, 1028 Old Cedar Bluff Road beginning Monday, Jan. 13.

The clinics are open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

KCHD's Teague Clinic, 405 Dante Road, remains closed for repairs from a burst water pipe.

Other basic precautions against the flu:

  • 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.

KCHD says those steps are especially important to protect those with a higher risk for complications, which includes children younger than 5, and especially those younger than 2; people 65 years or older; pregnant women; and people with certain chronic diseases.

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.

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