Home > News > Stay Healthy During the Flu Season


Stay Healthy During the Flu Season

John Peipert, RN, BSN, MM, CENP, chief nursing officer at St. Francis said the hospital has seen an increase of patients presenting in the emergency department with symptoms of the flu. He said, "Over the last week we had over 25 positive flu cases in the ED and a few of those were admitted. Symptoms include fever, aches, weakness, chest discomfort and cough." He explained that this outbreak has been particularly bad among teenagers and higher than expected within the school age population.

Peipert stressed that during the flu season it is important that individuals stay home if at all possible and to limit contact with elderly, newborns, and pregnant women. He said the hospital is asking individuals to limit visits to patients in the hospital unless absolutely necessary. "If you are sick or not feeling well, it’s a good idea to stay home as patients in the hospital do not need to be exposed to the flu."

Peipert added that universal precautions to help prevent the spread of infection is an ongoing process for all hospital staff to follow. He said, "Everyone should follow this process which includes washing your hands often with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Alcohol solutions are fine to use, however hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of infection." Also, using a towel to turn off the faucet is another good practice.

Germs can be pesky and tend to stick around if someone in your household is sick. He explained, "Use disinfectant wipes on surfaces such as faucets, toilets, door knobs and counter tops often to help get rid of germs and follow the CDC recommendation to stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone to reduce the risk of exposing others."

There is still time to get a flu shot and the Centers for Disease Control recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older to get a flu vaccine every season. Individuals should check with their family physician or local health department for details. For more information about the flu such as preventive steps, symptoms or caring for someone who is sick, check out the CDC website at www.cdc.gov.

Media Contact

Becky Bishop
Marketing Manager
Office: (217) 324-8497