Flu Season Is Nothing To Sneeze At

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Photo Source: http://www.bayhealth.org

Bayhealth Medical Center

Give yourself the gift of good health this holiday season: get a flu shot. Although flu season has officially started, it’s not too late to take steps to prevent infection.

Bayhealth Medical Center has joined the growing ranks of US healthcare systems that make the annual flu shot mandatory for all employees. Staff who do not receive the shot are required to wear masks when in patient areas.

“We are proud to have achieved 95% compliance with this initiative,” said Deborah Watson, FACHE, FACMPE, Bayhealth Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Patient safety comes first. An annual seasonal flu vaccine (either the flu shot or the nasal-spray flu vaccine) is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and lessen the chances that you will spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community. The flu shot helps us achieve our mission to improve the health of all community members.”

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that 63% of healthcare personnel nationwide have been vaccinated this year.

According to the CDC, over 100 cases of the flu have been confirmed in Delaware in 2012. 45% of the state’s cases are in Kent County, with 31% in New Castle County and 24% in Sussex County. More than half of those cases have been confirmed in the last two weeks, indicating that flu season is picking up.

Because flu season usually peaks in January and February, getting the flu shot now will still provide protection against influenza virus infection. Cases of the flu have been reported as late in the year as May.

Other ways to avoid the flu bug:

• Wash your hands after coming into contact with a possibly contaminated surface. (ie, after you shake hands with somebody)
• Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not immediately available.
• Sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve, not your hands.
• Use alcohol to wipe off areas in a public domain, such as a treadmill in a gym, a shared computer in the workplace, a public telephone, etc…

Bayhealth Occupational Health will be offering flu shots to corporate clients only. Bayhealth does not provide flu vaccinations for individual patients. For more information about the availability of the vaccine for corporate clients, please call Bayhealth Occupational Health at (302) 744-7012. The best way for individuals to get the flu shot is to call their primary care physicians.