Flu numbers keep climbing. Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself
With at least 221 cases recorded so far, Fremont County currently ranks no. 4 for the most cases by County. Click here for a running total across Wyoming.
Vickie Bessey, Chief Nursing Officer at SageWest Health Care, shares a few things you can do to protect yourself from the flu, prevent it from spreading and speed up recovery, should you get sick:
First, it’s not too late to get vaccinated. This is the best form of protection against the virus. While it is still possible to contract the flu after receiving a vaccination, it is much less likely. Furthermore, studies have shown that flu vaccinations can make your illness milder, if you do get sick. This year, the CDC recommends that all individuals get the flu shot – not the nasal spray vaccination. To get your flu shot, you can visit a walk-in clinic or pharmacy, or your physician’s office. If you don’t have a primary care physician, visit our website and browse our Physician Finder or call 1-800-424-DOCS.
Other important preventative measures you can take include:
- Washing your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol-based
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Avoiding sharing food, cups or eating utensils
- Disinfecting your home and belongings, such as door knobs, light switches, children’s toys and play areas
- Staying home from school or work if you are sick to prevent the spread of germs
- Covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a tissue, your sleeve or elbow, and NOT your bare hands
- Getting a flu shot
- Calling your primary care doctor with any questions
SageWest Health Care also is taking the appropriate steps at our facility to prevent the flu from spreading. We are doing this by:
- Providing masks to all visitors and patients experiencing flu-like symptoms
- Providing alcohol-based hand sanitizers throughout the facility
- Encouraging all patients, staff and visitors to get their flu shot if they have not already done so
If you or a loved one begins to notice symptoms including coughing, sore throat, fever or upper respiratory symptoms, please see your doctor right away. Early detection is especially important for young children, elderly populations, pregnant women and people with certain chronic health issues. When detected early, prescription antiviral drugs can often help treat the illness and shorten the time you are sick by one or two days.
In addition, limit contact with others as much as possible immediately after noticing symptoms. Stay home (or keep your child home) for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone, except to seek medical care or for other necessities. Here’s a list of symptoms and how to tell the difference between a cold or flu.
For additional information about influenza, visit www.cdc.org/flu.
At SageWest Health Care, we truly care about your health and well-being. If you have any questions or concerns about this year’s flu season, we can help. Just call 856-4161 in Riverton or 332-4420 in Lander.