2013-01-09 / Front Page

Cases Of Flu On The Rise Here, Statewide

SPECIAL TO THE NEWS


Infection control nurse Lori Best restocks the infection prevention station in the main lobby at FCMC after it was hard hit last week. Infection control nurse Lori Best restocks the infection prevention station in the main lobby at FCMC after it was hard hit last week. The last week of 2012 didn’t just mark the end of a year, it marked a widespread warning regarding the flu season. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, flu-related emergency department visits during the week were elevated in all regions of the state.

There was no difference at FCMC. According to Director of Nursing Services Kim Slee, FCMC also reported an increase in flu activity in its Emergency Department as well. That being said, FCMC reminds county residents to take precautions to reduce the spread of influenza during this heightened flu season.

Influenza virus is a highly contagious virus. It is the cause of acute respiratory disease each year, which can result in many deaths, especially in the elderly. The flu season is from November to April, but can occur as early as October. Persons with the flu typically have a headache, body aches, sore throat, fever, cough and feel sick for 4 to 7 days, sometimes longer. It is spread by breathing moist droplets containing the virus that come from infected persons when they cough, sneeze or speak. Illness starts in 1 to 4 days after the influenza virus enters the body.

Any person who may be in contact with an infected person, the elderly, young children and persons with lung problems or a weak immune system are at highest risk. The flu vaccine should be given each year to those at high risk of getting the flu and to healthcare workers.

In addition to getting vaccinated against the flu, the Pennsylvania Department of Health offers the following suggestions to reduce the spread of influenza:

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and following food preparation, before eating and after using restrooms or changing diapers.

Be careful what you touch. Hands transmit germs.

Cover your nose and mouth with hands or tissues when coughing or sneezing. Wash hands afterward to prevent spreading germs to doorknobs and other items. Discard tissues right way.

Get plenty of rest, eat properly, and dress appropriately for the weather.

When ill, prevent the spread of germs by staying home from school or the workplace, if possible.

During flu season, minimize time in crowded areas, such as shopping centers, and avoid contact with those at high risk for the flu, such as the elderly and those with chronic illness.

If over the age of 65, pregnant, or if you have a chronic illness or disease, talk with your doctor about a flu and pneumonia vaccination.

Flu shots are still available at Fulton County State Health Center. For an appointment call 717- 485-5137. The Health Center is located at Penn’s Village Shopping Center, 182 Buchanan Trail, Suite 160, McConnellsburg. There is a $5 charge that can be paid by check or money order. They will also take insurance. Eligibility to receive the shot is 6 months and older.

For more information on the flu, please visit www.fcmcpa.org and click on flu season for some

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