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Flying Flu Free

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It’s the peak of flu season and Sheppard Air Force Base is taking a number of precautions to keep the airmen and residents on base healthy.

Chawntel Vega, 1st Lt. and Public Health Officer at Sheppard Air Force Base said that her office is working hard to educate people about the flu and proper ways to prevent the spread of the illness.

“We take the flu very seriously," said 1st Lt. Vega. “We make sure at Sheppard Air Force Base that all our active duty personnel are vaccinated."

Vega said that the base keeps a close eye on who has been vaccinated and the spread of the flu virus.

"We actively survey our population. We monitor the trends and always look at the stats. These stats give us the information that they need to make sure that everyone has the proper vaccinations that they need."

On Tuesday, 1st Lt. Vega said 98.7% of the active duty population at SAFB is vaccinated.  However, she said they still saw a few cases of the flu this season.

“We have seen sporadically a few cases of H1N1 [flu],” said 1st Lt. Vega.

While the majority of airmen already have the flu shot it does not mean the base is a safe haven, because there are many other people who stay on base.

"We do not require that our civilians, retirees or dependents get vaccinated. There’s no mandate for them. However, we strongly encourage that they get vaccinated,” said 1st Lt. Vega.

In addition to educating people about preventing the flu virus, the public health office is also encouraging all to practice safe ways to avoid exchanging germs. It is asking airmen to wash their hands frequently, practicing social distancing and if someone is sick they are asked to wear a mask.

1st. Lt. Vega said, they hope people in the Texoma community will also join the battle to fight the flu.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6