NEWS RELEASE-Immediate Release

December 12, 2018

TCRHCC warning community about the 2018-2019 influenza epidemic

The flu (influenza) has arrived in Tuba City in full force.  Our community- and especially our schools- are now in the middle of an outbreak.

This year’s flu viruses include two types of Influenza A and two types of Influenza B which means you can get the flu more than once in a season.

The good news is that most healthy people that get the flu feel badly for several days with a peak at 3-4 days and then recover. Symptoms of the flu are: Fever, chills, body aches, headache, sore throat, cough, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The cough can last up to 2-3 weeks before it clears up.

Most often a doctor’s visit is not necessary and those who are ill should stay home where they can rest, drink plenty of fluids and take medicines like acetaminophen (Tylenol®) and ibuprofen (Motrin® or Advil®) to keep the fever down and treat the aches.  The FLU is very contagious, so staying home—away from work, school and public places (basketball games, churches, bazaars, and kivas) is really important to reduce the spread. Children should not go back to school until they have been fever free for 24 hours.

Sadly, we do not have any good medicine to reduce the misery of the flu.  The medication, Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®), shortens the flu by an average of one day if given early in the illness.   The medication has some side effects so we only use it for patients who are at high risk for severe illness:  children less than 5 years old, elderly over 65 years of age, children and adults with underlying heart or lung conditions or other chronic illnesses; pregnant women; or those that are in the hospital with complications like pneumonia (lung infection) or the need for oxygen.

You or your family member should come to the clinic or ER if you are sick with a flu-like illness and are:

  • Having trouble drinking liquids or having less urine (pee)
  • Having difficulty breathing or blueness around the lips or mouth
  • Concerned that condition is worsening instead of getting better in 3-4days
  • You have a high risk medical condition and you have been sick for less than 48hours

As in all years, the best way to prevent the flu is by getting the flu vaccine.   Getting the vaccine can reduce how severe a case of the flu is and can prevent many cases.  Our goal is to prevent as many cases as possible. Other ways to prevent the flu:

  • If you feel sick, stay at home
  • Cover your cough with a mask, a glove, your arm or your shirt
  • Wash your hands as often as possible

TCRHCC has Same Day Clinic for adults and the Pediatric Clinic for children that offer appointments Monday-Friday from 8-5 pm.  You can also be seen in the Mobile Van, so check Facebook daily for locations, or at Sacred Peaks and LeChee for those that live in Flagstaff or Page.  Flu shots are available in pediatric clinic for children and at the outpatient pharmacy for adults.  We have health care providers that can speak to you on the phone to help you decide whether you, your child or your elder needs to be seen.  Our Emergency Department has the mission to see all that come, but the sickest patients need to be seen first, so please be patient (wait times will be long) and always wear a mask if you feel ill in ANY way. Flu germs (viruses) can be passed by just breathing.

Our healthcare community is strong and your hospital is here to support you.  Let’s work together to prevent the spread of the flu!

TCRHCC Adult Same Day Clinic:      (928) 283-2669
TCRHCC Pediatric Clinic:                (928) 283-2679
Sacred Peaks Health Center:           (928) 863-7333
LeChee Health Facility:                  (928) 698-4900

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