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Hospital visitors who are ill could spread influenza to patients

01/24/2014

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Pa. – Summit Health officials are encouraging people with flu-like symptoms to avoid visiting loved ones at the county’s two hospitals, Chambersburg Hospital and Waynesboro Hospital. 

As the number of reported influenza cases is on the rise throughout the state, officials are concerned about increased risk of spreading the flu.

“Visitors are a valuable compliment to patient care, but if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, it’s best to just stay home and avoid spreading the flu to people in the hospital,” said Ericka Kalp, director of epidemiology and infection prevention for Summit Health.  “Precautions like this can help limit the spread of influenza and other viruses.”

Flu Tips
For most people who have the flu or flu-like symptoms, the best remedy is to stay home, rest, and drink plenty of fluids, according to Kalp.

Kalp noted that most people with the flu will have mild illness and won’t need medical care or antiviral medicine.

For severe illness, Kalp said you should seek emergency care immediately.

“If you get sick and experience any of the following symptoms, go to the emergency room right away.”

Children:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Fever with a rash
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with a fever and worse cough

 

Adults:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

 

“Those at a high risk of developing complications from the flu should contact their health care provider to decide whether or not they need to be examined if they have flu symptoms,” Kalp said.

Children, seniors, and people with chronic health conditions are at a higher risk of developing severe complications caused by the flu, according to Kalp.

For more information on flu symptoms and prevention, visit SummitHealth.org/PreventFlu.

END

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As Franklin County's leading healthcare provider, Summit Health offers family care, specialists, lab and imaging services, a fitness center, two walk-in care centers, and two award-winning hospitals.

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