Hospitals warn visitors with flu away

DAVENPORT, Iowa - Both our local hospital groups are asking visitors with flu symptoms to stay away.

Seasonal Influenza activity is increasing in the Quad Cities region.

During the past week, Genesis Medical Center has experienced an increase in the number of patients hospitalized to treat influenza.  There has also been an increase in the number of patients testing positive for seasonal influenza in Genesis emergency departments, although actual numbers of positive tests are not kept and are not required to be reported.

The Iowa Influenza Surveillance Network called flu activity sporadic last week in its weekly activity report.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week warned of a possible severe flu season in some areas.

Because of the increase in influenza in our region, Genesis is asking that only “well’’ visitors visit patients at Genesis Medical Center campuses.

Visitors should not come to the hospital to visit patients if they have a sore throat, chills, headache, stuffy/runny nose, cough, fever or body aches.  People exhibiting these symptoms will be asked to wear a mask and must clean their hands before entering a patient’s room.

“The best preventive measures to protect against seasonal influenza are a flu vaccination and good hand hygiene,’’ said Lisa Caffery, infection control coordinator, Genesis Health System. “It is not too late to get a flu shot.

“We would also suggest that anyone with flu symptoms stay home from work or school.’’

UnityPoint Health-Trinity is also asking visitors to stay away and offered up some flu prevention tips:

• Individuals who are not feeling well or have had flu-like symptoms in the past seven days should not visit hospitalized patients. Flu-like symptoms include a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, cough, and/or sore throat.

• When entering and leaving a patient’s room, everyone should wash their hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand foam/gel.

• People should cough or sneeze into their arm, shoulder, or tissue (not hands) to reduce the spread of germs that can be passed from hands touching surfaces or people.

•   Masks are also available upon request

 

Flu Prevention Tips

  • Wash your hands regularly! Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Sing the Happy Birthday song twice before you finish washing.  When you leave the restroom, wash and use a paper towel to turn off the water.
  • If you are in the hospital, be an engaged patient.  Ask everyone entering your room to wash their hands before providing your care. 
  • Get a flu shot. It's not too late. Flu shots are the best prevention.
  • Do not re-use handkerchiefs. Also, dispose of tissues after use and wash your hands
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve (elbow), not your hand, when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  • Clean the items you touch frequently. Use antibacterial, disinfectant wipes to clean your computer keyboard, telephone and glasses.
  • Do not share drinks or drink out of other people’s glasses. Do not drink directly from a milk, juice or soda container.  Make sure your dishes are properly cleaned between uses.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs.

If you are sick, stay home from work, school and avoid public areas.   Don’t pass the flu on to others. Avoid contact with people who are sick


 


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