(Sedgwick County, Kan.) – Flu and flu-like symptoms are on the rise in Kansas and throughout the United States. Sedgwick County residents who have not yet received a flu shot are encouraged to do so. Because cases of influenza often peak in January and February, it is NOT too late to get a flu shot.
The Sedgwick County Health Department also asks residents to help prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses by properly and frequently washing your hands, as well as staying home when you are ill. This includes refraining from going to work, school, places of worship, hospitals and senior care centers.
Patients in hospitals and recovery centers are especially susceptible to illness, which can slow recovery times and aggravate an existing condition. If you exhibit signs of illness, such as fever, sore throat, nasal congestion, body aches, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, please refrain from visiting patients until you are free of these symptoms.
Dr. Hewitt Goodpasture, medical director for Infection Prevention and Control for Via Christi Hospitals in Wichita says, “Family and friends play important roles in the healing process of our patients. However, when people who are ill visit hospitals, they increase the risk of complications for their loved ones and other patients. It’s actually a kindness not to visit in person if you are ill.”
Instead, Via Christi Hospitals, Wesley Medical Center and other local hospitals encourage persons exhibiting symptoms to have a presence without potentially bringing germs to the facilities by using webcam services, telephone calls or greeting cards in place of in-person visits.
And, while staying home helps prevent the spread of disease, Kathy Adams, infection prevention practitioner with Wesley Medical Center advises residents to seek medical attention if symptoms such as fever and coughing persist or if dehydration becomes a concern. She explains that, “The symptoms of those who are ill, especially in young family members and seniors, should be monitored for signs of dehydration and prolonged illness. If these occur, it is time to break the “stay at home” rule and see a doctor.”