Protect Against Influenza

October 1, 2014

Protecting Against Influenza
Bassett requires staff to be vaccinated & urges public to do the same

Each year, 30,000 people die from influenza infection and its complications. The flu vaccine remains the best option to reduce a person’s risk of contracting the virus. For this reason, Bassett Medical Center urges individuals to be vaccinated against the flu, and in accordance with New York State regulations requires staff to be vaccinated, or, wear a surgical mask to protect against contracting or spreading influenza.

“As an institution providing medical care for people already ill, it is our responsibility to protect our patients, visitors and colleagues from contracting the flu and to be available to our patients to provide care,” said Ruth Blackman, infection prevention specialist and senior director Quality Resources Management. “Therefore, Bassett has told all employees to obtain a flu vaccine; those that don’t or who cannot, must wear a mask to protect patients and colleagues.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. People should be vaccinated ideally by October to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before flu season begins. In addition to getting vaccinated, there are simple, but effective preventive measures to protect against the flu like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. Anyone sick with flu should stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others.

Signs and symptoms of the flu include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills (not everyone will experience a fever)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (very tired)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

To learn more about preventing the flu and its prevalence this season, visit www.cdc.gov/flu/.

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