October 5, 2010

Genesis Fights Flu With Protection, Prevention And Information

By Craig Cooper
Genesis Health System

In an average year, 20,000 or more Americans will die from complications related to seasonal influenza.There are several ways to avoid the flu and prevent spread, starting with an annual seasonal flu vaccination. Genesis will provide protection, prevention and information throughout the 2010-2011 flu season. Protection against seasonal influenza and pneumonia will be available at Genesis VNA public flu vaccination clinics in the region. At the Genesis flu clinics, you will be able to show proof of Medicare coverage and Genesis will file your claim. If you are not covered by Medicare, cost is $35 for a flu vaccination and $40 for pneumonia.

Genesis will also take the lead in the Flu-Free Quad Cities initiative by vaccinating 9,000 or more elementary school children against the flu. The voluntary project offers free seasonal influenza shots to elementary age children throughout the region.

Prevention information will be available throughout the influenza season at www.genesishealth.com/flu. The web site has tips, videos, seasonal flu information in Spanish, information about the Flu-Free Quad Cities initiative and links to governmental flu resources, including the county health departments, Iowa and Illinois health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Flu information hotlines with up-to-date information about upcoming public flu shot clinics will be available at (563) 421-5522 (Quad Cities area) or (563) 244-4957 (Clinton County).

“Vaccination, prevention and staying informed are three excellent ways to prevent the spread of seasonal flu in our communities this flu season,’’ said Jim Lehman, M.D., Vice President of Quality, Genesis Health System. “And, through our Flu-Free Quad Cities initiative and public flu clinics, we hope to limit the exposure to flu for thousands of Quad Cities families.’’

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) puts children younger than age 5 and adults 65 years of age and older in high risk categories for developing flu-related complications. People with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, chronic lung disease, heart disease, diabetes and kidney disorders are also at higher risk for developing complications. In recent years, the CDC has expanded its recommendations for the list of those who should be vaccinated. For the first time, the CDC is recommending that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine.

Genesis is preventing the spread of flu by reaching out to the carriers. This is the third year of the Flu-Free Quad Cities initiative. While young students are not considered to be a high-risk group for complications of flu, the group carries the flu very efficiently into the community.

Last year, more than 9,400 elementary school students in the Quad Cities region received free seasonal flu vaccinations through the Flu-Free Quad Cities initiative. Free flu vaccinations will again be available from Genesis VNA and Hospice at area elementary schools later this fall.

There are two important changes in the Genesis flu plan for the public this season. The first is that the seasonal flu vaccine for 2010 will also provide protection for the H1N1 strain in a single vaccination. Second, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending an earlier start to the vaccination season. It’s not too early to get your flu shot even though the active flu season may not develop until after the first of the year.

Symptoms Of The Flu
• Fever or feeling feverish/chills
• Cough
• Sore throat
• Muscle or body aches
• Headaches
• Fatigue
• Possible vomiting and diarrhea in children

Genesis Public Flu Clinics (Additional dates TBD)
Oct. 1 — Noon-3 p.m., Davenport Clinic, 1820 W. 3rd St., Davenport.
Oct. 4 — 4-6 p.m., St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, 315 Main St., Wheatland, Iowa.
Oct. 18 — 3 p.m.-6 p.m., First Congregational United Church of Christ, 520 11th St. East, DeWitt.
Oct. 19 — 8 a.m.-noon, Hy-Vee, 1823 E. Kimberly Road, Davenport; 8:30-9:30 a.m., CALCO Community Building, 201 Main St., Calamus; 10:30-11:30 a.m., Welton Fire Station, 95 Main St., Welton, Iowa; 2-6 p.m. — Church of the Open Door, 816 13th Ave. No., Clinton.
Oct. 20 — 8:30-9:45 a.m., Grand Mound Community Center, 510 5th St., Grand Mound, Iowa; 10:15-11 a.m., Carroll Assistance Center, 102 Washington St., Wheatland, Iowa; 12:45-2 p.m., Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 403 Pleasant St., Lost Nation, Iowa; 2:45-3:45 p.m., Charlotte Area Activity Center, Broadway St., Charlotte.
Oct. 21 — 8:30-9:45 a.m., Grossman Center, 309 Main St., Delmar, Iowa; 10:15-11:30 a.m., Ascension Lutheran Church, 155 O’Brian St., Goose Lake, Iowa; 12:45-1:45 p.m., Faith Lutheran Church, 1368 Washington St., Andover, Iowa; 2:30-3:30 p.m., Low Moor Community Center, Low Moor, Iowa.
Oct. 22 — Noon-3 p.m., Davenport Clinic, 1820 W. 3rd St., Davenport.
Oct. 25 — Noon-1 p.m., LeClaire Meal Site, LeClaire.
Oct. 26 — 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., New Hope Meal Site, Davenport.
Oct. 27 — 8 a.m.-3 p.m., CASI, 1035 W. Kimberly Road, Davenport; 10-11 a.m., First Congregational United Church of Christ, 520 11th St. East, DeWitt; 11 a.m.-noon, Eldridge Meal Site, Eldridge.
Oct. 28 — 1 p.m.-5 p.m., Hy-Vee, 3019 Rockingham Road, Davenport.
Oct. 29 — Noon-3 p.m., Davenport Clinic, 1820 W. 3rd St., Davenport.