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Tips to deal with flu season from MRMC

According to the Centers for Disease Control, every year in the United States, on average:

  • Anywhere from 5 percent to 20 percent of the population gets the flu.

  • Approximately 200,000 people are hospitalized due to flu every year.

  • Approximately 36,000 people die from flu or its complications.

  • Symptoms of flu include fever (usually high), headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can be present, although they are more common in children than adults.

  • Complications caused by the flu can include bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. Children may also get sinus problems and ear infections after having the flu.

  • Flu spreads from person to person through coughing and sneezing, and also by people touching something with a flu virus on it and then touching their mouth, eyes, or nose. People with the flu can infect others beginning one day before they have any flu symptoms and up to seven days after getting sick. That means that you can give someone the flu before you even know you are sick, as well as while you are sick with the flu.

  • The groups of people who are at more high risk for serious flu complications include older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, including pregnancy.

    One of the best ways to prevent getting the flu is to get your flu shot during October or November. Flu shots are available to hospital associates from the Associate Health office. The McDuffie County Health Department also has flu shots available for the public. You may also check with your personal physician about getting your flu shot at your next office visit.

    Because the values of McDuffie Regional Medical Center put people first, we are committed to serving our community with the best possible care during the upcoming flu season. Elderly persons or children under 17 are not permitted to visit during the flu season. We want to protect our patients, our visitors, and our staff as much as possible.

    If you get the flu, or flu-like symptoms, you may be asked to wear a mask over your nose and mouth while waiting for treatment at your physician's office or the emergency room. You may also be asked to sit in a certain area, or at least three feet away from others in a waiting area.

    Please do not visit patients or staff at the hospital if you have a cough, fever, sore throat, or other symptoms of a respiratory or infectious illness.

    You can practice other infection control measures away from the hospital that will also help prevent the spread of flu in the community. Some of these measures are listed below:

    If you are sick with any type of respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, or if you have a fever, please stay at home unless you are seeking medical treatment. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

    Keeping sick children home from school, day care, and other public areas will also help prevent the spread of the flu.

    Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of tissues in the nearest waste receptacle after use. Wash your hands often or use an alcohol-based hand rub, especially after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Also wash your hands after touching surfaces or materials that may be contaminated with germs. Remind children to wash their hands often. Teaching and encouraging these healthy habits to children and others around you can be one of the best ways of preventing the flu virus from spreading.

    Web posted on Thursday, November 10, 2005

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