Several cases of influenza have been confirmed in Park County and doctors are reminding the community to take necessary precautions to help decrease the spread of flu. Influenza is contagious and is usually spread when someone who has it coughs or sneezes, sending the influenza virus into the air where other people may breathe it in.
“Everyone can make a difference to help reduce the spread of influenza and other illness by taking some simple steps,” says Dr. Scott Coleman, Medical Director at Livingston HealthCare. Precautionary steps include:
- Frequent and thorough hand washing.
- Covering all coughs and sneezes. If you don't have a handkerchief or a tissue, use the crook of your arm, not your hand.
- Staying home from work, school, or social events if you have a fever, cough, sore throat, and body aches and pains consistent with influenza A and B, or symptoms of nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea consistent with that of viral gastroenteritis (stomach flu).
- Avoiding people exhibiting symptoms of a flu-like illness.
- Contacting your health care provider before going to a clinic or emergency department if you have flu-like symptoms.
Livingston HealthCare is currently restricting visitors who are under 18 or showing flu-like symptoms as a way to help protect patients and others who are most susceptible to contracting influenza. “We realize this may cause an inconvenience for some people, but we are taking this step in the best interest of the health of our patients, visitors, and staff members,” said Peggy O’Neill, Livingston HealthCare’s Infection Prevention Nurse.
It’s not too late to get your flu shot. Adult, Pediatric, and FluMist doses are currently available at Livingston HealthCare.