Flu outbreak getting bad, so take precautions
With a particularly brutal flu outbreak spreading across the country, UHS urges the public to take several steps to prevent the flu:
- Get a flu shot; it's not too late.
- Stay at home if you have a fever.
- Wash your hands often.
- Cough or sneeze into your arm.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, so germs don't spread.
- If you use tissue paper, throw it away immediately.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces.
- If you're not feeling well, don't visit friends or family members who are in the hospital.
It is still too early to say just how bad this influenza season will be, but officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are concerned that it could reach an epidemic level.
Currently the flu is widespread in 46 states, and there are four times as many cases now as compared with this time last year.
Young children are being especially hard-hit.
In some parts of the country, schools have closed and hospitals have had to reschedule surgeries.
While there are many different flu viruses, the vaccine protects against the viruses that research suggests will be most common, according to the CDC.
The CDC notes that vaccination can reduce episodes of illness, visits to the doctor's office and missed days of work or school due to the flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.
More information on flu prevention and treatment is available at www.cdc.gov.