Keeping the flu out of Nolan County
With the flu season well underway and widespread outbreak across Texas, Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital (RPMH) is taking action to help Nolan County residents prevent infection. Hospital officials are reminding the community that flu shots are available for only $25 and everyone age six months and older should get vaccinated. “The best way to prevent the flu and to help maintain a healthy community is to ensure as many people in our community receive a vaccination,” said Donna Boatright, administrator of RPMH. “Inventory of flu shots are available and ready at a moment’s notice. We encourage anyone who has not yet received one to come to the hospital and request to be vaccinated.” Current vaccines available cover most strains of the flu virus that health officials are currently seeing, including H1N1. Boatright said that she expects RPMH to be able to meet local demand but did caution that individuals should not wait very long as we are quickly approaching the height of the flu season – which runs through March. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms of the flu typically come on suddenly and may include fever or fever chills, a cough and sore throat, runny and stuffy nose, muscle and body aches, headaches and fatigue. Most people who develop the flu are contagious five to seven days after they show symptoms. “The best advice we can give to those who come down with the flu is to stay home,” said Dr. Robert Eaker, a family physician at RPMH. “Staying home will help cut down on the number of people you expose to the flu. It is also important to use that time to rest and drink plenty of fluids.” For those with underlying medical conditions, Dr. Eaker recommended that you call your medical provider as early as possible to see if they want to test for the flu and prescribe any antiviral drugs. “Those with weakened immune systems, as well as children and the elderly should especially be cautious of getting the flu,” Dr. Eaker added. To avoid the flu and help prevent the spread of the virus, the CDC recommends that you avoid close contact with those who are sick and stay home if you recognize symptoms. Covering your mouth and nose when you need to sneeze or cough; frequently washing your hands to avoid spreading germs; and avoid needlessly touching your eyes, mouth, and nose is advised to prevent the spread of infections. For more information on the availability of flu vaccinations, please call the hospital directly at 325-235-1701. Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital is a community-focused healthcare provider serving residents in Nolan County, Texas. Founded in 1976, Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital offers a wealth of medical services including: 24 hour emergency care, advanced radiology services including CT scanning and MRIs, outpatient lab, physical therapy, surgical services, swing bed services, patient education, home health and assistive services, and more. For additional information, please visit www.rpmh.net.