Adena Health System is seeing a sharp increase in the number of flu cases being seen at its facilities, and is stressing caution for those planning to visit patients at locations in Chillicothe, Waverly and Greenfield. While Adena is not limiting visitors at this time, people are being asked to voluntarily not to come to the hospital to visit patients if they have been recently exposed to the flu, or are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
The increased flu activity in our region has resulted in nine people being hospitalized with influenza thus far; and an average of three or more cases confirmed daily in Adena’s Laboratory over the past week. Influenza A is the predominant type of flu being reported in the region, with three confirmed cases of the 2009 H1N1 strain. To date, there have also been two confirmed Influenza B cases.
“It is vitally important that people take extra precautions to avoid contracting influenza,” said Dr. Wael Haidar, Adena’s Infectious Disease expert. “This includes limiting contact with those who may have influenza, increasing their hand washing and sanitizing routine, and if they have not yet had an influenza vaccine for this season, to do so immediately.”
It is not too late to receive a flu vaccination. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends flu shots for anyone six months of age and older. Flu shots are still available at most primary care physician offices, local health departments or clinics, and at many local pharmacies.
It’s anticipated there are many more unreported cases of influenza in our community. Symptoms include: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache, nausea, and fatigue. People are reminded to be diligent about hand washing and protecting themselves during this flu season. Influenza can be transmitted before people show signs or symptoms.