Prevention is Key to Reducing Influenza Risk - Especially for High Risk Populations.
Many Craig Hospital patients and graduates are at an increased risk for contracting influenza due to respiratory impairments, medication or other health contradictions, or if their immune systems are compromised.
“If you are going to be around anyone with a compromised immune system you can help protect them by getting your flu shot,” says Rosie Lozano, Infection Prevention and Control Coordinator for Craig.
“It can be very difficult for many of our patients to recover from influenza if their immune system is compromised, because they’re on certain medications or they’re allergic to the standard anti-viral prescribed to patients with the flu,” she says.
For individuals at high risk, influenza immunizations result
in substantial reductions in complications, hospitalizations and deaths related
to respiratory disease. Craig Hospital requires employees, students and
volunteers to get the influenza vaccine and offers the vaccine to patients.
Other prevention measures include respiratory stations at hospital entrances
where hand sanitizer, tissues, and masks are available.
According to the CDC there are four types of influenza viruses that cause seasonal epidemics almost every winter in the United States: A, B, C and D. Human influenza A and B viruses are the viruses responsible for causing seasonal influenza during the winter months in the United States.
The CDC has also issued some changes to their flu shot guidelines this season, including no longer recommending the nasal spray vaccine. There will also be some new vaccines on the market this year and the existing vaccines have been updated to better match the circulating viruses.
“We really hope everyone will do their part to help make everyone healthy this flu season,” says Lozano.
Download the Center for Disease Control’s 2016-2017 Flu Fact Sheet.
Infection Control Coordinator