The flu is spreading among Upstate residents this winter, and the Greenville Health System is urging people to get their flu shots. More than 1,000 GHS patients tested positive for the flu the week of Feb. 5, and 23 flu patients were hospitalized that same week.
To make it easy to get the shot, GHS offers a free, drive-thru flu shot clinic for everyone in the community at Patewood Memorial Hospital on Thursday, Feb. 23 from 4 to 6 p.m. outside of the hospital’s main entrance. People seeking the vaccine will be able to drive up to the hospital’s entrance and receive the shot while remaining in their vehicles. The hospital is located at 175 Patewood Drive in Greenville.
“The flu season is just reaching its peak, and it’s a good idea to get a flu shot if you haven’t already,” said Sue Boeker, a GHS registered nurse and infection prevention specialist. “There are still benefits to getting the shot, even though it’s late in the season. The flu shot is the best preventive measure to avoid getting the virus. The more people are vaccinated, the better our community is protected from the flu.”
People participating in the drive-thru flu shot clinic are encouraged to dress so that their upper arms will be easily accessible. Registration is not required and shots will be given on a first-come, first-served basis. The vaccines are only for adults.
Everyone at least 6 months of age should get a flu shot. People diagnosed with chronic diseases like asthma, diabetes, chronic lung disease, pregnant women, and people age 65 and older are at a higher risk of being infected and should make the vaccinations a top priority.
Other steps to reduce illness this cold and flu season include:
- Washing hands often and keeping them away from your face
- Avoid close contact with people who have flu symptoms
- Prevent the spread of illness to others by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
- If you’re sick, stay home from work or school at least 24 hours after your fever breaks
Learn more about protecting yourself from the flu and frequently asked questions at Ghs.org/flu.