Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Flu Hits Houston Hard

January 9, 2013

https://vaww.cms.webdev.va.gov/HOUSTON/images/pressrel/Getshotnotflu.jpgUPDATE: Flu Hits Houston Hard

 

The flu season in southeast Texas is shaping up to be one of the earliest and worst in years, with the flu-sick and those with respiratory illnesses that masquerade as flu clogging Houston-area clinics, emergency rooms and doctor's offices. According to local health officials, most of those who have become ill did not get the flu vaccine.


If you need one, free flu shots are available for Veterans, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston and its outpatient clinics in Beaumont, Conroe, Galveston, Lake Jackson, Lufkin, Richmond, and Texas City.

 

 

In Houston, patients should report to their Primary Care Clinic:

Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, 2002 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030

 

At the outpatient clinics, go to the check-in desk:

Beaumont VA Outpatient Clinic, 3420 Veterans Circle, Beaumont, TX 77707

Conroe VA Outpatient Clinic, 800 Riverwood Ct, Ste 100, Conroe, TX 77304

Galveston VA Outpatient Clinic, 3828 Avenue N, Galveston, TX 77550

Lake Jackson VA Outpatient Clinic, 208 South Oak Drive, Suites 700 & 800, Lake Jackson, TX 77566

Charles Wilson VA Outpatient Clinic, 2206 North John Redditt Drive, Lufkin, TX 75904-1776

Richmond VA Outpatient Clinic, 22001 Southwest Freeway, Suite 200, Richmond, TX 77469

Texas City VA Outpatient Clinic, 9300 Emmett F. Lowry Expressway, Suite 206, Texas City, TX 77591

 

For more information about influenza and the flu vaccine, contact the Preventive Medicine Program at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center at 713-794-8768 or visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/flu.

 

And remember, it is important for everyone use good hygiene practices to prevent the spread of disease. Wash your hands frequently.

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September 18, 2012

 

While many people associate the flu with cold weather, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting a shot as soon as the vaccine becomes available. It is really never too early – or too late – to get vaccinated.

 

“It takes about two weeks for the protection to kick in after a flu shot is administered. While it may seem like the sooner the better, the greatest benefit of getting vaccinated now may be peace of mind,” said Primary Care Director Nicholas Masozera, M.D.

 

An average of 36,000 Americans die each year from influenza and many of them are the unvaccinated elderly. No vaccine is 100 percent effective, but the flu vaccine very clearly decreases the chance of severe illness, death, hospitalizations, and lost work days.

 

Flu shots do not cause flu illness. The influenza viruses contained in a flu shot are inactivated (killed), which means they cannot cause infection. Flu vaccine manufacturers kill the viruses used in the vaccine during the process of making vaccine, and batches of flu vaccine are tested to make sure they are safe. In randomized, blind studies, where some people get flu shots and others get salt-water shots, the only differences in symptoms was increased soreness in the arm and redness at the injection site among people who got the flu shot. There were no differences in terms of body aches, fever, cough, runny nose, or sore throat.

 

For more information about influenza and the flu vaccine, contact the Preventive Medicine Program at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center at 713-794-8768 or visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/flu.

 

And remember, it is important for everyone use good hygiene practices to prevent the spread of disease. Wash your hands frequently.