What is Influenza (Flu)?

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2 What is Influenza (Flu)? The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. In the 1990 s,flu-related deaths in the United States ranged from estimated 17,000 during the mildest season to 52,000 during the most severe season. Over a period between 1976 and 2007 deaths in the U.S ranged from 3,000 to 49,000.

3 WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE COLD & THE FLU? Is it a cold or the flu? Symptoms Cold Fever Rare Headache Mild Aches/pains Mild Fatigue/Weakness Mild Extreme exhaustion Never Stuffy nose Common Sneezing Common Sore throat Common Chest discomfort/cough Mild Flu Yes, often high ( ), lasts 3-5days Yes, sudden and can be severe Usual, often severe Yes, sudden and can last 2-3 weeks Yes Sometimes Sometimes Sometimes Common, can be severe Source:

4 People at High Risk for Developing Flu- Related Complications People 65 years and older. Children younger than 5, especially children younger than 2 years old. Pregnant women. People at any age with medical conditions such as: Asthma, Heart disease, Kidney disorders, Liver disorders, HIV, or Cancer.

5 How Does the Flu Spread? Experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can land in the mouth or nose of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. A person might also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. People with the flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick.

6 How Does the Flu Spread? Spread from person to person through large particle respiratory droplets. Adults shed virus from the day before symptoms begin. Young children may shed virus several days before illness onset, and can be infectious for 10 or more days after onset of symptoms. Severely immunocompromised persons can shed for weeks or months. Therefore, just following respiratory etiquette alone is not enough to prevent flu transmission.

7 Preventing Influenza and other Respiratory Illnesses Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow. Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Hand hygiene is an important step in preventing the spread of the flu and other infections. Try to avoid close contact with sick people. Stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading the flu to others.

8 Preventing Influenza con t Everyone 6month or older should get a flu vaccine yearly including Health Care Workers. Mandatory flu vaccine is favored. (more than 200,000 persons, are hospitalized each year for flu-related complications). Mandatory at Trinitas for all employees.

9 Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette Strategy used to prevent the spread of undiagnosed transmissible respiratory infections. (e.g., reception and triage areas in ED, clinics, and physicians office. Source control measures: covering mouth/nose with tissue when coughing prompt disposal of used tissues. using fluid shield masks on coughing person when tolerated and appropriate. Hand hygiene after contact with respiratory secretions. (Wash-Wash-Wash) Spatial separation, Ideally>3ft., of persons with respiratory infections or in common waiting areas.

10 Why Cover Your Cough..

11 How to Protect Yourself Against Influenza Get a flu vaccine every year to protect yourself, patients, and your family. Flu vaccine can be given in a shot (needle injection). The sooner you re vaccinated, the sooner you ll be protected. But getting a flu vaccine anytime will protect you. Influenza can occur year round. It is most common in the winter.

12 Where Can I Get A Flu Vaccination? Occupational Medicine/Employee Health Clinic 210 Williamson St ( Administrative Building) 1 st floor Hours 7:30 am to 3:30 pm ( no appt needed) Local pharmacy * Private physician * Local Health Dept/Clinics * * Please bring paperwork to Employee Health if you did not get the vaccine at work.

13 TRMC Influenza Employee Policy As a condition of employment, all TRMC employees must receive the annual influenza vaccine. Religious/medical exemptions will only be honored with written proof. The vaccine will be offered in the fall each year as it becomes available The vaccine will be offered in the fall each year as it becomes available and employees are required to receive the vaccine.

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