Flu Activity Widespread in PA and NJ: Know How to Protect Yourself, Our Staff and Our Patients
According to the FluView report between December 30, 2012 and January 5, 2013, influenza activity continues to increase in the United States, with most of the country now experiencing high levels of influenza-like-illness (ILI). These current levels of ILI are nearing what have been peak levels of ILI during moderately severe seasons in the past.
Ways to fight the flu:
- Get the flu shot!
- Wash your hands
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- If you are sick stay home
- If your doctor prescribes flu antiviral drugs, make sure to take them
Pennsylvania and New Jersey, in particular, are reporting widespread influenza activity in all regions of the state. In Pennsylvania flu continues to be the most commonly detected virus in respiratory samples. The majority of influenza viruses circulating are influenza A, H3N2. The influenza viruses circulating this season are similar to strains included in this year's influenza vaccine.
If you are caring for a person that has ILI, the following steps need to be followed:
- Private room – a negative pressure room is not required
- DROPLET and CONTACT PRECAUTIONS
- Healthcare workers (HCWs) wear a surgical mask,gloves, and gowns
- For procedures likely to generate aerosols, HCWs wear an N95 respirator and eye protection or reusable HEPA powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR). Aerosol-generating procedures include open suctioning, endotracheal intubation, bronchoscopy and resuscitation efforts
- The patient wears a surgical mask outside of room
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Read "Flu picks up steam across the U.S." on CNN.com