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Published on December 29, 2014

Fight flu this season

When You’re Sneezin’ This Season

Avoid the Flu by Taking Care of You

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting widespread flu activity in South Carolina. Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System reminds Upstate residents to practice good hand hygiene, get the flu vaccine and stay home when ill.

“The best way to avoid getting the flu is to wash your hands and cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze,” said Kathy Bryant, SRHS Infection Prevention Manager. “If you are sick, try to stay away from others and stay home from work or school.”

What is the flu?

Flu (also known as Influenza) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Older people, young children and individuals with certain health conditions are at higher risk for flu complications. The best way to prevent flu is by getting vaccinated each year. (Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

SRHS Influenza Vaccination Policy

SRHS implemented a flu vaccination policy three years ago to protect our patients, employees and staff from exposure to the flu. This policy encourages all hospital physicians, employees, volunteers and contract workers to get vaccinated against the flu. This practice is supported by the CDC as the most effective way to disrupt the spread of the flu.

Those SRHS physicians, employees, volunteers or contract workers who do not receive an influenza vaccination are required to wear a surgical/isolation mask anytime they are within six feet of a patient while in any SRHS facility during influenza season, which is expected to run through the end of March.

Hospital Visitation Recommendations:

Your friends, families and loved ones are very important to us. We are here to take care of them and need your help on their road to recovery.

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System recommends not visiting if you are pregnant, under the age of 18 or are an elderly adult. We also recommend not visiting if you have lung conditions, a weakened immune system or are experiencing flu-like symptoms including:

• Fever

• Nausea

• Breathing difficulty

• General achiness

Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs

The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated every year. However, good health habits such as covering your mouth when coughing and washing your hands often help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses. There also are antiviral drugs that can be used to treat the flu.

1. 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 to prevent others from catching your illness.

3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

4. Wash your hands often to help protect yourself from germs.

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 sick. Get plenty of sleep, stay physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Protect yourself from the flu

SRHS strongly encourages you to get vaccinated. Contact your primary care physician to have this done. If you do not have a primary care physician, call 864-591-7999 to schedule an appointment with a Medical Group of the Carolinas physician practice near you.

When coughing and sneezing takes its toll, your entire family can see Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System doctors and staff at two convenient Immediate Care Center locations. Simply walk in to see a doctor or call our 24-hour help line to schedule an appointment.

Immediate Care Centers

MedicalGroupoftheCarolinas.com

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