In preparation for a possible surge of flu cases in the coming months, Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center is taking the following steps:
- Implementing a separate triage area in the Emergency Department to screen patients who may have the flu and direct them to a designated area for further evaluation and treatment.
- Stressing the importance of hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette.
- Recommending that visitors who might have flu-like symptoms refrain from visiting while ill.
- Making flu vaccination available to hospital staff, volunteers and inpatients.
The New York State Department of Health has strongly recommended flu vaccines for all health care employees. Those who are unable or elect not to receive a flu vaccine must wear surgical masks when in areas where they may be exposed to patients.
Influenza (flu) is a contagious disease caused by the influenza virus, which can be spread by coughing, sneezing, or nasal secretions. Anyone can get influenza, but rates of infection are highest among children. For most people, symptoms last only a few days.
Young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions, —such as heart, lung or kidney disease, or a weakened immune system—, can get much sicker. Flu can cause high fever and pneumonia, and make existing medical conditions worse. It can cause diarrhea and seizures in children.
“The CDC estimates that each year thousands of people die from influenza and even more require hospitalization,” said Good Samaritan Hospital’s Director of Infection Prevention Kathy DiBenedetto, RN. “By getting flu vaccine you can protect yourself from influenza and may also avoid spreading influenza to others.”
For more information on the seasonal flu, call (631) 376-4444.
Manager, Public and External Affairs