2018-02-09 / Front Page

Clinic focuses on treating flu-like symptoms

Scott Speaks
Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center

The national epidemic of patients sick with the flu is affecting Fort Gordon and the Central Savannah River Area. Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center is responding by adding a new service intended to consolidate those with flu-like symptoms and reduce the exposure of other patients to the flu virus.

Active-duty service members, their family members and retirees should schedule an appointment in the Flu Clinic by calling (706)787-7300. Notify the appointment clerk that you think you have the flu, so you can be directed to the right place and time for your appointment.

The clinic opened Wednesday to patients seeking treatment for flu-like symptoms not requiring emergency care. Patients are advised to enter the hospital through the designated entrance in the Family Medicine Clinic, located on the east side of the hospital. A parking lot near that entrance is designated for the Family Medical Clinic patients only, with a section dedicated to those seeking care in the Flu Clinic. Patients not needing flu treatment and DDEAMC employees are asked to park in other lots.

The Flu Clinic is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., on the weekends.

Soldiers without transportation are advised to go to their assigned Troop Medical Clinic where a shuttle will bring them to the Flu Clinic and return. Those with transportation are advised to call (706)787-7300 for an appointment.

“The flu epidemic of 2018 has its grips firmly on the CSRA and Eisenhower’s patients,” said Col. David Ristedt, DDEAMC commander. “Our Flu Clinic will reduce the exposure to the flu of those seeking care for non-flu symptoms while also increasing our effectiveness of caring for those with flu symptoms. We expect to reduce Emergency Department workload and improve care for those truly requiring emergency care.”

DDEAMC’s Emergency Department has treated more than 900 patients with the flu or flu-like symptoms in the past two weeks.

The Georgia Department of Public Health reports that, as of Jan. 30, the most recent reports available, 25 people have died statewide from the flu. One was in Columbia County and two were in Richmond County.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reports 46 deaths from the flu in South Carolina since October.

For more information on flu prevention and treatment, visit www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm.

Tips for avoiding the flu

• Clean your hands frequently. Look for hand hygiene stations around the hospital and use them often. Please make sure to clean your hands when entering and leaving the hospital either by washing with soap or rubbing your hands together with hand sanitizer.

• Cover your cough. You can easily spread the flu as a result of coughs, sneezes or simply talking.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Viruses spread this way. It’s not too late to get the flu vaccine if you haven’t done so already. Getting this simple shot can help increase your chances of staying healthy and avoid getting others sick.

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