Flu season rings in early for the new year

By: 
MIRIAM CAMPAN
Reporter
Friday, January 11, 2019

 

 

Central Montana Medical Center has visitor restrictions in place. Denise Jimmerson, CMMC’s Infection Control Preventionist is asking, “Anybody with respiratory symptoms to wear a mask and clean your hands if visiting a patient.” She added, “We are trying to protect patients who are already compromised with other illness.” 

In the last week CMMC tested three people exhibiting flu like symptoms with only one admission.  Jimmerson said, “When we see three patients in a week we put on the restrictions.” She added, “We revisit the restrictions on a weekly basis and get together with public health team to keep on top of what is going on in the community.”

According to the “Montana Influenza Summary” compiled by Montana Department of Health and Human Services, an increase in Influenza activity is being reported.  The summary noted the most common influenza subtype this season as Influenza AH1N1 (related to the Swine Flu).  Julie Rooney from the Central Montana Health District said, “We haven’t yet seen that in Fergus County.”

Rooney, Jimmerson and Heather Thom from the Fergus County Nurses Office said, “It’s not too late to get a flu shot.”  Rooney said, “if you are 6 months of age or older to get one.”` Thom added, “It can take 10 days for vaccination to take full effect. The best way to protect yourself from Influenza is to wash your hands.” 

The fever, aches and chills associated with the flu are compounded by extreme fatigue.  Rooney said, “It is very significant.  It knocks people out.”  Website information details the possibility of the flu leading to more serious conditions such as pneumonia, lung infection and other breathing problems.  Rooney, Jimmerson and Thom advise to stay home, “you’ll heal faster.”

 

CMMC restrictions in place 

 

As of Jan. 8, CMMC will be initiating visitor restrictions for all children 13 and under and for anybody with flu-like symptoms, (respiratory or vomiting, diarrhea). If you fit this criteria do not visit the hospital.

As per our masking policy, any employee, physician, volunteer or student who did not receive the flu vaccine this year needs to wear a mask. Masking is required in all hallways, and in the cafeteria. Masking in individual offices is as follows: if the employee is in their office with the door closed no mask is needed, if someone comes into the office the employee must wear a mask.  

Please practice respiratory etiquette precautions in all areas of the facility.  

For any questions, please contact Denise Jimmerson, Infection Preventionist at 535-6258 or Laurie Ray, Employee Health Nurse at 535-2076.

 

Cold or Flu? 

 

Unlike the common cold, flu symptoms include:

•cough

•fever

•sore throat

•stuffy or runny nose

•body aches

•headache

•chills

•fatigue

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