Health department emphasizes ways people can avoid becoming ill
Flu prevention tips offered to long-term care facilities
BOWLING GREEN — Wood County Health District is providing information on how long-term care facilities can best respond to widespread influenza activity.
Influenza generally spreads more quickly in inpatient facilities, and older people are at greater risk to acquire the illness and experience more serious symptoms. While influenza usually affects older people the most, it can also be severe or fatal for children and young adults. This year’s flu season has affected more people due partly to the more active and resilient H3N2 strain of the illness.
The health district is reminding health care facilities that they can minimize the spread of influenza with some simple guidance. This includes posting signage that encourages people to delay visits if they have a cough or flu symptoms, or acquire a protective mask to keep themselves and others safe if they must visit. Visitors should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer often.
Influenza is a respiratory illness that is different than viral gastroenteritis, a digestive illness sometimes referred to as “stomach flu.” Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with influenza and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.
Increased influenza activity is also a good opportunity to remind the public of ways they can avoid the flu. Regularly wash your hands, cover your cough, and get a flu shot, if you haven’t already. If you get sick, your doctor may prescribe antiviral medication to make your symptoms milder, shorten the time you are sick, and reduce the risk of complications.
The mission of Wood County Health District is to prevent disease, promote healthy lifestyles and protect the health of everyone in Wood County. Our Community Health and Wellness Center provides comprehensive medical services for men, women and children. We welcome all patients, including uninsured or underinsured clients, regardless of their ability to pay, and we accept most third-party insurance. For more information, visit www.woodcountyhealth.org