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Flu vaccines begin Oct. 2 for medical school employees

Seasonal flu vaccines will be offered to School of Medicine faculty and staff at no cost beginning Tuesday, Oct. 2.

As with last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone over 6 months old receive a flu vaccine. In addition, the School of Medicine recommends that all employees, even those with no direct patient contact, get a vaccine.

Vaccination is especially important for faculty and staff who have direct patient contact as it helps to protect patients from becoming severely ill.

This is particularly effective in protecting older patients who are most vulnerable to severe illness and death from influenza. Seniors make up 30 to 40 percent of the patients served at the School of Medicine and are best protected when those working in a health-care setting are immunized.

Even employees who are not in direct contact with patients can become part of a chain of infection. Accordingly, all School of Medicine employees are strongly encouraged to get a seasonal flu vaccine, even if they work in a purely administrative or research setting.

Most people who get the flu have mild illness, do not need medical care or medications and recover in less than two weeks, according to the CDC. However, some people are at higher risk, including those with chronic health problems and weakened immune systems due to disease or medication or those who are morbidly obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more. Children younger than 5 years old, adults 65 or older and pregnant women are also at higher risk.

To protect against the flu, physicians recommend:
• good cough and sneeze etiquette
• frequent hand washing
• being aware of symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, fatigue and chills (In some cases, influenza may also cause diarrhea and vomiting.)
• getting the seasonal flu vaccine

School of Medicine employees who develop flu-like symptoms should stay at home and not return to work until they are fever free for 24 hours without taking aspirin, Tylenol or other fever-reducing medications.

The following locations offer School of Medicine employees a free seasonal flu vaccination. Please bring your employee ID badge.

Oct. 2: 12:30-4:30 p.m., Barnes-Jewish West County, MOB No. 3, Second floor kitchen
Oct. 3: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Barnes-Jewish West County, MOB No. 3, Second floor kitchen
Oct. 9, 7 a.m.-1 p.m., 4444 Forest Park, ADL Conference Room, first floor
Oct. 10, 7 a.m.-1 p.m., McDonnell Pediatric Research Building lobby, first floor
Oct. 12: 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Northwest Tower, 10th floor, Conference Room 10A
Oct. 16: 7 a.m.-1 p.m., Center for Advanced Medicine, third floor, Farrell Conference Room No. 1
Oct. 17: 7 a.m.-1 p.m., Center for Advanced Medicine, third floor, Farrell Conference Room No. 1
Oct. 19: 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m., McDonnell Pediatric Research Building lobby, first floor
Oct. 22: 11 a.m.-3 p.m., McDonnell Pediatric Research Building lobby, first floor
Oct. 23: 7 a.m.-1 p.m., Farrell Learning and Teaching Center, first floor lobby
Oct. 25: 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Center for Advanced Medicine, third floor, Farrell Conference Room No. 1
Nov. 1: 12:30-4:30 p.m., Farrell Learning and Teaching Center, first floor lobby

Employees unable to attend any of these sessions may call Occupational Health Services at 362-3528 to schedule a flu shot.

MEDIA CONTACTS
Diane Duke Williams
Associate Director for Media Relations
(314) 286-0111
williamsdia@wustl.edu
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