CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – What has traditionally been reserved as a modern greeting or celebratory gesture is something one Summit Health provider is doing this fall and winter as an additional measure to help stop the spread of flu.
The fist bump. It occurs when two people lightly bump their fisted hands together at the knuckles.
“I thought fist-bumping in lieu of shaking hands could be a light-hearted way to help limit the spread of germs,” said Dr. Ashish Behari, a urologist with Summit Urology Group, who said patients who aren’t limited by certain medical conditions or allergies should also receive a flu shot.
Dr. Ericka Kalp, director of epidemiology and infection prevention at Summit Health, said getting a flu shot remains the best and most reliable way to prevent flu. Flu season typically runs from October to March.
“The first and best line of defense against influenza, or ‘flu,’ specifically, is getting a flu shot,” said Kalp.
To help further limit the spread of germs and illnesses, proper handwashing is key.
“Handwashing should include five steps – wet, lather, scrub, rinse and dry – and scrubbing should last 20 seconds, or about the time it takes to sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice,” explained Kalp.
Flu vaccines are available at Summit Primary Care locations and can be administered to most individuals six months and older. It takes about two weeks from vaccination to be protected.
The flu and common cold can have similar symptoms – fever, body aches, fatigue and cough – but generally, symptoms of flu are more intense.
Those who do get the flu should rest, stay hydrated and avoid contact with the public until at least 24 hours after their fever has broken without the aid of fever-reducing medicine.
Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Purple or blue discoloration of the lips
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Flu-like symptoms that improve but return with fever and cough
To find flu shot locations near you, call your doctor’s office or visit: www.flu.gov.
See Dr. Behari and other Summit Health employees putting the fist-bump idea into practice here.