Pioneer Memorial Hospital plans flu clinics

Pioneer Memorial Hospital plans flu clinics Pioneer Memorial Hospital & Health Services will begin offering flu shots to area residents beginning this week at each of their three medical clinics in Centerville, Parker and Viborg, and will hold three flu shot clinics in the lobby of the Viborg hospital.

Working in concert with the South Dakota Department of Health, Pioneer Memorial will be issuing influenza vaccine only to those high risk priority groups defined by the Center for Disease Control. Those groups identified by the center as high risk are children ages 6 through 23 months of age, adults 65 years of age and older, people 24 months to 64 years of age with chronic medical conditions, residents of nursing homes and long term care facilities, women pregnant during flu season, children on chronic aspirin therapy, and day care providers or a member of a household with children 0 to 6 months of age.

Individuals falling into one of the above high risk categories will be able to receive a flu shot in the lobby area of the hospital during one of the scheduled flu clinics on Oct. 27 from 8 to 9:30 a.m.; Nov. 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. and on Nov. 3 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. If those at risk can not make one of the flu clinics, they can receive a flu shot at the Centerville, Parker or Viborg medical clinics anytime on a walk-in basis.

Anyone not in one of the identified high risk groups are asked to defer their influenza shot at this time. Should the situation change, our policy will also change to reflect the current vaccine need and availability.

All individuals are encouraged to practice careful hygiene to prevent the spread of the flu virus by doing the following:

* Wash your hands frequently, especially after shaking hands, or touching something that may be contaminated with germs. Scrub with soap and hot water for at least 30 seconds.

* Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing or coughing.

* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, which may increase the chance of infection.

* Stay home from work and school when you are ill and running a fever.

* Avoid sharing food, eating utensils, drinking glasses, pens and pencils, towels and other personal items.

* Don't reuse or share bottles of water or soda.

We encourage you to contact your physician if you have further questions.

Pioneer Memorial asks that anyone with flu or respiratory illness symptoms refrain from visiting patients or residents of our facilities.

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