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Medical Minute-Being a Considerate Guest During Cold and Flu Season

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Medical Minute-Being a Considerate Guest During Cold and Flu Season

A Q&A session with Mary Ann Kellar, RN, BSN, CHES, CIC, Infection Control Director at Christian Health(CHCC)

Cold and flu seasons are the worst. If you are sick, you spend the season coughing, laying in bed, and being miserable for the most part. If you aren’t sick, you’re doing your best to make sure that you do not get sick by keeping proper hygiene or by simply avoiding everyone you see! Check out this Q&A session to learn more about how CHCC handles visitors during the flu season!

Q:I visit my aunt at Heritage Manor Nursing Home every week. What are some basic guidelines for visitors during cold and flu season?

A:Proper hand washing is the most effective method for preventing the spread of infection, so be sure to sanitize your hands before and after visiting. Insist that health-care providers do the same before and after caring for your aunt. Since items contaminated by dirty hands can spread illness as well, avoid sitting on your aunt’s bed, using the toilet in her room, and touching any medical equipment.
Q: For the past couple of days I’ve had a head ache and feel a bit sore. Is it okay for me to visit my father in The David F. Bolger Post-acute Care Unit?

A:Please stay home! Our residents and patients are at particular risk for germs from the community. Your head ache and soreness may be symptoms of the flu. You can infect others with the flu virus beginning one day before symptoms develop, and up to seven days after becoming sick. And never visit if you’ve had a fever, cold, cough, rash, sore throat, and/or diarrhea, or if you have vomited, in the previous three days.

Hopefully these questions and answers gave insight into what CHCC expects of visitors during the cold and flu season. Take care of yourselves! And best of luck dodging those nasty germs for the upcoming flu season!