Sheboygan – Flu season is well underway and HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan is seeing an increase in the number of flu cases compared to this time last year.
So far this flu season, HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital has seen a total of 60 flu cases and 7 flu-related hospitalizations. Last year at this time, the hospital had seen a total of 26 flu cases and 9 flu-related hospitalizations.
“Receiving a flu shot is the best line of defense against the disease,” said Mary Martin, Chief Nursing Officer at HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital. “Although the influenza vaccine is not always 100 percent effective, medical research shows those who receive one and still contract the flu may experience less severe symptoms and a shorter duration of illness than someone who did not receive a vaccination.”
While it is beneficial to be vaccinated early in the flu season, now is still a good time to be vaccinated if you haven’t already. Flu shots are especially important for young children, pregnant women, people age 65 and older, and people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart and lung disease.
To further prevent the spread of the flu:
Cover nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
Wash hands with hot water and soap frequently, especially before you eat. Or, use alcohol-based sanitizer.
Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth.
Clean and disinfect surfaces that may harbor flu germs.
Eat a balanced diet to keep your immune system healthy.
Get enough exercise.
Flu is a respiratory illness. Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue. In some cases, people may also experience diarrhea and vomiting. If you or someone you know may have the flu, stay home, treat the fever and contact your health care provider if necessary.
Flu activity in the region has also prompted visitor restrictions at HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in an effort to keep our patients safe and to help prevent the spread of germs.
About HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital
HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital has been delivering high quality health care to Sheboygan and its surrounding communities since 1890. HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital provides a comprehensive range of services that include cancer care, women’s services, 24-hour emergency care, digestive health, orthopedics, cardiac, home health and hospice care. The hospital’s primary purpose is to continue Christ’s healing love through the delivery of high quality and compassionate health care in an environment sensitive to the needs of all people. HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. An affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System, we draw on the history of St. Francis of Assisi as we move to continue serving the health care needs of our area in Christ’s healing ministry, caring for all people. To learn more, visit www.stnicholashospital.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. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org/. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org/.