Published on January 12, 2015

Protect Yourself from the Flu-Tips from Pella Regional

PELLA, Iowa – The most recent flu report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for 2014-2015 shows that flu season in the United States is well underway and about half the country is experiencing high levels of flu activity. Reports of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths are elevated. Activity is expected to continue for several weeks.

Influenza is marked by fever, cough, runny nose, chills, fatigue, headache and body aches. Complications are most common in people younger than 2 or older than 65; in pregnant women; and in people with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, lung disease, immune-system problems or cancer.

At Pella Regional, the Emergency Department along with Convenient Care has seen the most cases of the flu. The clinics have been busy as well, though only a few patients have needed hospitalization.

“Because colds and flu share many symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between the two based on symptoms alone. If you have questions or concerns about an illness please call your health care provider for guidance,” said Jen Henely, BSN, RN, Infection Preventionist at Pella Regional. “People who get the flu are urged to stay home and rest, avoid contact with other people, drink plenty of water and clear liquids, and treat symptoms with over-the-counter medications.”

Warning Signs of an Emergency in Children
  • trouble breathing
  • blue skin color
  • failure to drink enough fluids
  • inability to wake up or interact with others
  • fever with a rash
  • irritability that makes a child not want to be held

An additional warning sign is flu-like symptoms that ease then return with a fever and worsening cough.

Warning Signs of an Emergency in Adults
  • difficulty breathing
  • pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • sudden dizziness
  • confusion
  • severe or persistent vomiting
Stay Healthy
  • Every time you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often, especially after you cough or sneeze. Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand cleaners if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Get vaccinated for seasonal flu if you haven’t already.

People should NOT go to work or send children to school if they are sick. The CDC recommends people stay home if they are sick with flu-like illness until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100 degrees) or signs of a fever (have chills, feel very warm, have a flushed appearance, or are sweating). This timing should be determined without the use of fever-reducing medicines (any medicine that contains ibuprofen or acetaminophen).

When visiting a patient at Pella Regional, please be in good health for the best interests of the patient’s health and safety. Wash hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand foam/gel upon entering and exiting a patient’s room. Refrain from visiting if you have had flu-like symptoms during the past seven days.