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To combat the emerging seasonal flu outbreak, Taylor Health and Wellness Center at Missouri State is offering flu vaccines to members of the university community. KSMU’s Rebekah Clark has details.
The flu has arrived in the Ozarks with a vengeance. According to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, there have been 400 reported cases of influenza in Greene County this season. And that number doesn’t include those who haven’t sought medical treatment.
Rick Uffmann is the associate director of Taylor Health and Wellness Center, which is offering free flu shots to the MSU community. He says he expects many outbreaks of the flu or flu-like symptoms in the weeks ahead.
“We haven’t seen that many here, but I do feel like it’s just a matter of time, from what we’re hearing around the country, that it really is all around us at this point in time.”
Members of the MSU community do not need an appointment to get vaccinated. The cost for the vaccine is as follows: students, MSU employees (full and part-time) and their household members and retirees on MSU health insurance can all get their shots free of charge. Non-members of MSU must pay $24.
“As the students have been out home for break and the holidays, I’m sure as they come back from these areas that are really affected by the flu, I’m sure they’ll be bringing back to campus so we do anticipate seeing quite a few cases coming in over the next two weeks.”
Uffman encourages everyone to get the vaccine. Pregnant and nursing women should talk to their doctor and inform the nurse that they are pregnant before receiving the flu vaccine.
And he says to remember to wash your hands frequently and always cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing. If you have flu symptoms, stay home.
“It’s very debilitating for a week, maybe even two weeks in time frame. It’s something that you don’t want to experience. It’s always better to be prepared and not get it than to not be prepared and get it.”
Taylor Health and Wellness Center does not vaccinate children under 6 years old. If you have small children, contact their pediatrician for information about the vaccine.
For KSMU News, I’m Rebekah Clark.
For more information about the flu vaccine offered at Taylor Health and Wellness, call (417)836-4000 or go to www.health.missouristate.edu.