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Stay healthy during winter

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – As the weather gets colder, Airmen must stay healthy to execute the mission.

“In cold weather, the risk of getting a cough, cold, sore throat or the flu rises,” said Master Sgt. Kevin Kramer, 21st Medical Squadron flight chief. “To combat this, we advise Airmen to wash their hands frequently. Doing this kills a lot of germs and can prevent them from spreading.”

Additionally, by cleaning keyboards, desks, phones, steering wheels, rooms and other frequented areas and items can help create a cleaner and healthier environment.

“Dressing appropriately for the weather is important,” Kramer said. “Wearing a fleece, hat and gloves can help keep Airmen healthy and can help prevent illness.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, healthy adults can infect others one day before flu symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after becoming sick. The flu vaccine cannot cause the flu illness and the CDC recommends everyone 6 months or older receive the shot.

“Don’t be a hero,” he said. “If you’re not feeling well, let your supervisor know. Come into the clinic and schedule an appointment.”

With the recent spread of the NORO virus in the region, Capt. Daniel Yee, 21st MDS medical director said it’s important to practice good hygiene and know how illnesses can spread.

“Strep throat spreads through droplets by coughing or sharing food and drinks,” he said. “If you think you have the flu or strep, wear a mask and minimize interaction with people.”

The Schriever clinic does not have regular walk-in hours, however, Airmen who believe they have strep throat can walk-in for a test and if there is an open spot for an appointment, the clinic will provide care to the Airmen.

Yee said getting a flu shot is mandatory for military personnel, but he also encouraged family and friends to get vaccinated.

“The flu can cause severe sickness and death, typically in older folks and young kids,” he said. “If you get the flu shot, it won’t necessarily prevent you from getting the flu, but it can lessen the severity of the illness.”

The 21st MDS offers a variety of free over-the-counter medication to Airmen without an appointment.

“Get your flu shot, not just for yourself but for your family,” Yee said. “Practice proper hygiene and make sure you’re cleaning up after yourself. If someone is sick encourage them to be seen and not linger, that’s how you get other people sick.”

To schedule an appointment and to learn about over-the-counter medications offered, call 719-524-CARE, 719-526-CARE or walk-in and ask to schedule an appointment at the front desk.

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