January 15, 2015;
Flu Season is in Full Swing;
It’s not too late to get a flu shot…
Louisa, Ky — As doctor’s offices, urgent care centers and hospitals are seeing, flu season is active, with hospitalization rates close to what they were two years ago. Flu is one of the nation’s leading causes of death, with roughly 24,000 people a year dying from flu and its complications. Latest figures released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show the flu hitting hard in all but seven states.
Three Rivers Medical Center has seen a growing number of flu-symptomatic patients in the emergency room since November. Numerous patients have also been admitted for treatment of flu-related complications.
While health officials fear this will be an unusually bad year for flu, it’s too soon to say. The timing of the flu is unpredictable and can vary in different parts of the country and from season to season. Flu activity most commonly peaks in the U.S. between December and February but can continue as late as May.
The good news: it’s not too late to get the flu shot. Even if the flu season peaks soon, it will still be around for months.
Three Rivers Medical Center will be offering flu vaccinations, by appointment only, from Monday, January 26th – Friday, January 30th, during normal business hours, to help our community take this important step for prevention. To make an appointment, please call 606-638-7406.
The flu shot will be $20.00. If you are a Medicare patient and bring your Medicare card, your vaccine will be billed to Medicare.
“Vaccination is the simplest step you can take to protect yourself,” said Brian Bailey, RN, BSN, CIC, Infection Control/Employee Health. “More often than not, the patients we see who have the flu did not take this action to protect themselves or their family.”
There are three main things you can do to be safe this flu season:
Vaccinate. Get the flu shot for yourself and everyone in your family. It’s available at your doctor’s office and many urgent care centers in our area, with many offering same-day appointments. The CDC recommends everyone older than six months, except people with severe egg allergies, get immunized. Both shot and nasal spray vaccine forms are safe and effective and rarely have side effects.
Get Treatment. If you do get the flu, your doctor or an urgent care center can prescribe antiviral medication to treat flu illness and prevent serious flu complications. Children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with chronic illnesses are particularly vulnerable to catching the flu and experiencing complications. It’s important to treat high-risk individuals promptly to avoid hospitalization. Treatment with antiviral medication works best when begun within 48 hours of getting sick, but can still be beneficial when given later in the course of illness. These drugs can also lessen serious flu complications.
Prevention. Stay away from sick people and wash your hands frequently to reduce the spread of germs. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze, and resist touching your eyes, mouth and nose. Avoid close contact with people who have the flu or symptoms and if you’re sick with the flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading it to others.
“Though this year’s flu vaccination is not a perfect tool, it’s the best way to protect against flu infection,” said Bailey. “Caregivers at our clinics and Three Rivers Medical Center take the safety of our patients seriously, and we’ve had a high participation rate with voluntary vaccination efforts among our clinicians and physicians.”
For more information on the flu, visit the special flu section at www.threeriversmedicalcenter.com. To find a primary care doctor visit the “Find a Doctor” link on the home page or call 606-638-7408.
Three Rivers Medical Center has been awarded Joint Commission Top Performer distinction four years in a row. The Emergency Department is an Accredited Chest Pain Center. TRMC is a 90-bed, acute care facility. It is accredited by The Joint Commission. With over 80 medical staff members, TRMC offers cardiology, general surgery, nephrology, orthopedics, urology, gynecology, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, gastroenterology, podiatry, 24-hour emergency care, diagnostic radiation, rehabilitative services and mental health.
Remember that this information is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor, but rather to increase awareness and provide you with information for conversations with your physician.