Flu season is upon us. Although HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital has not seen an increase of patients presenting in the emergency department with symptoms of the flu yet this season, it is important to be prepared.
“Signs to look for include fever, aches, weakness, chest discomfort and cough." said Mike Queary, RN, BSN, manager of the emergency department at HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital. He explained that young children, pregnant women and the senior community are at highest risk of complications from the flu.
Queary stressed that during the flu season it is important that individuals stay home if possible and to limit contact with elderly, newborns, and pregnant women.
“If you are sick or not feeling well, it’s a good idea to stay home as patients in the hospital do not need to be exposed to the flu.” he said. It is also important to wash your hands often with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Alcohol solutions are fine to use; however, hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of infection” Germs can stick around if someone in your household is sick.
“Use disinfectant wipes on surfaces such as faucets, toilets, door knobs and counter tops often to help get rid of germs and follow the CDC recommendation to stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone to reduce the risk of exposing others.” Queary said.
There is still time to get a flu shot and the Centers for Disease Control recommends that everyone six months of age and older to get a flu vaccine every season. Individuals should check with their family physician or local health department for details. For more information about the flu such as preventive steps, symptoms or caring for someone who is sick, check out the CDC website at www.cdc.gov.
About HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital
Since its inception in 1916, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville (GSS) has been dedicated to excellence in healthcare for those living and visiting their communities. GSS has accomplished this by providing comprehensive health services and meeting the needs of patients served through their compassionate care, business integrity and community responsibility. GSS provides a 24/7 emergency department that is fully staffed by physicians and highly-trained nurses, and also features inpatient and outpatient services, including a 24-hour laboratory and an imaging department that meets today’s highest standards for diagnostic imaging technology. GSS has an advanced surgery department and an acute inpatient care unit. Dedicated to being a hometown hospital, GSS’ home health and rehabilitation departments are committed to excellence with a team of professional nurses and therapists providing a variety of medical services and rehabilitative therapies, all designed to help patients heal in their own environment. The group of visiting specialists in the outpatient clinic works closely with GSS to help keep the healthcare services local even if a specialized procedure or exam is required. GSS strives to be the first choice for the community’s healthcare needs. For more information about HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, visit www.hshsgoodshepherd.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 local systems and physician practices in Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.