By Kendra Gohl, Director of Nursing, Infection Preventionist
The flu is here! As you may have been seeing in local and national press influenza season has begun and it is shaping up to be a bad one.
We have begun to see increased influenza-positive cases in our emergency department and through hospital admissions. There is no doubt that guests are roaming our halls potentially spreading influenza.
We are asking all guests with symptoms of the flu or cold to put on a mask. Masks are available at all major entrances to the hospital and in most clinics.
Here are some tips from the CDC on how you can prevent the flu:
1. Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
2. Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
3. Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
4. Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
6. Practice other good health habits.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
The flu is contagious for up to 3 days before symptoms begin. And symptoms often begin suddenly.
If you think you might have the flu then I encourage you to seek care with your primary care provider, one of our Urgent Care Clinics, or our Virtual Clinic. If antivirals are started within 48 hours of symptoms, then length of illness and severity of symptoms can be drastically reduced.
Media Contact: Felicia Struve
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