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19th MDG fights the flu

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

As the flu season progresses, the men and women of the 19th Medical Group are committed to ensuring the health of Team Little Rock Airmen, retirees and their families. The 2019 flu season is shaping up to be quite dangerous as 31 people have died from the flu in Arkansas as of Feb. 21, 2019, raising the risk level from moderate to severe.

To help protect the members of Team Little Rock from the flu, the Family Health Clinic has set up a cold and flu clinic with walk-in hours from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Monday to Friday. Active-duty members who experience flu-like symptoms are able to walk in during those hours and be seen without an appointment. The clinic can provide rapid flu testing and prescribe antivirals and other medications. The 19th MDG monitors and reports influenza cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Arkansas Department of Health. Additionally, as a Department of Defense influenza sentinel surveillance site, Little Rock Air Force Base also provides data to formulate next year’s flu vaccine.

Educating the members of Team Little Rock and surrounding areas is another important mission of the 19th MDG. Members from the public health flight went to the youth center, Bobby G. Lester Elementary School, and Maumelle Charter Elementary School to educate 250 kindergarteners and first graders on how to prevent the flu. The children were taught hygiene measures focusing on handwashing techniques, how to sneeze properly, and the five Fs: face, front, fingers, feet, and fanny.

There are several measures you can take to keep from getting the flu. The easiest and most effective method is getting the flu vaccine. Limit contact with sick individuals. If you are sick, avoid contact with others. Supervisors can grant 24-hour quarters while you recuperate or seek further treatment. Frequent handwashing with soap and water is recommended, but using hand sanitizers is also an acceptable substitute. Finally, always cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing. The best way is to sneeze on your sleeves in a “dabbing” motion.

If you are having flu-like symptoms, call the nurse advice line at 1-800-874-2273, or visit the Cold and Flu Clinic (for active duty only) at the 19th MDG Clinic, 1090 Arnold Drive, Little Rock AFB.

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