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Prevention is Key to Reducing Influenza Risk

February 03, 2014

1,190 confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations in Colorado this flu season.

So far this flu season, no Craig Hospital patients have contracted influenza, and hospital staff would like to keep it that way. Infection Prevention and Control Coordinator Rosie Lozano says the most common strain of influenza viruses circulating (2009 H1N1) is particularly impacting young adults age 16–30 whose immune systems haven’t yet encountered it.

Individuals with spinal cord injuries are at increased risk for pulmonary impairments and respiratory illness complications from influenza. Patients may be at increased risk for influenza if they are unable to receive the influenza vaccine due to medication or other health contradictions, or if their immune system is compromised.

It could be more difficult for patients to recover from influenza if their immune system is compromised, they’re on certain medications or they’re allergic to the standard anti-viral prescribed to patients with the flu.

For individuals at high risk, influenza immunizations result in substantial reductions in complications, hospitalizations and deaths. 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.

Rosie Lozano Infection Control Coordinator

Rosie Lozano
Infection Control Coordinator