Sleepy Eye Medical Center urges residents to take active steps to avoid getting or spreading the flu.
“We have seen a noticeable increase in the number of flu cases and flu-related hospitalizations in our region in the last few weeks,” said Chiloe Kottke, RN, Infection Preventionist, at SEMC. “At this point, we are asking members of the public to join us in reversing that trend.”
The seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza (flu) viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Signs and symptoms of the seasonal flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.
Steps to Prevent the Flu
SEMC specifically asks the public to take these steps to prevent contracting and spreading the flu:
- Get a flu shot if you haven’t already done so.
- If you aren’t feeling well, stay home.
- If your children are ill, keep them at home.
- If you aren’t feeling well, avoid visiting people in the hospital or those in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs can spread this way.
- Cover your cough.
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap, or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
“It’s important to note getting a flu shot is still one of the best prevention steps,” said Kottke. “Vaccination is especially important for children, adults 65 and older, pregnant women and people with asthma, diabetes and other long-term conditions who are at high risk from flu complications.”
For more information about the seasonal flu (influenza), go to the Minnesota Department of Health website.