With what could be another 9-12 weeks of flu season still to come, flu prevention efforts are more important than ever, especially for those with already compromised immune systems such as the elderly, pregnant women, children and those already in the hospital.
For the first time in the history of its reporting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data revealed that the 2017/2018 flu season came in strong with flu activity striking almost every region of the continental U.S at the same time. Since flu season monitoring began on Oct. 1, 2017 flu activity has remained widespread hovering at or above the national average for 13 weeks with numbers rising sharply to nearly 42 people per 100,000. Flu related deaths have also increased and as of Feb 22, 2018, stand at 9.5 percent.
If you or a family member plan to visit a hospital this flu season, be sure to take precautions to keep yourself – and others – safe. Even if you show no symptoms of illness, the flu virus and other infections can live on surfaces for up to 24 hours, increasing your chances of self-contamination and/or spreading the virus to others.
When it comes to reducing the prevalence of these healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), hand hygiene is key. As one of the most serious, yet preventable threats to patient safety in healthcare facilities, HAI prevention through proper hand hygiene is a top concern among healthcare institutions
If you do plan to visit the hospital, here are some tips for preventing the spread and acquirement of an infection:
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