Banner Churchill Community Hospital Urges Prevention
Banner Churchill Community Hospital is seeing its fair share of patients coming through its Emergency Department with the flu but also seasonal illnesses including norovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and the common cold. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nevada is reporting widespread flu activity.
As influenza continues to grip most of the nation, medical experts at Banner Churchill urge prevention as the best method to not getting sick. "It's not too late to get a flu shot," said Laura Babiarz, infection preventionist at Banner Churchill. "We're prepared to see an increase in flu cases but if people can get the shot now if they haven't already done so it would benefit them because flu season typically runs through March."
Babiarz says if people do get the flu, they can visit their primary care physician who can treat them with antiviral drugs including Relenza and Tamiflu, but they must see their doctor within 48-hours of first signs of the flu. Otherwise if they wait, they run the risk of becoming extremely ill and could be hospitalized especially if they are high risk individuals including children, the elderly, pregnant women or people with underlying medical conditions.
Babiarz says, "The flu shot is important to get but people must also remember to wash their hands thoroughly, use hand sanitizers, cover their mouth when they sneeze or cough by using the crook in their elbow rather than their hands, and wiping down all hard surfaces with anti-bacterial wipes. The flu can be deadly and we have to remember that."
If family or friends plan on visiting a loved one at Banner Churchill and show signs of any respiratory illness including fever, congestion, cough or runny nose, we ask they not visit patients.