10/26/2012 – Ellsworth Municipal Hospital has confirmed its first case of influenza in Hardin County. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health’s website (www.idph.state.ia.us), 19 cases of influenza were confirmed statewide as of the week ending 13, 2012, indicating the early arrival of the flu as predicted by the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov).
Influenza (flu) is a contagious disease, which can be prevented by the flu vaccine. The flu prevention plan at EMH and its clinics includes flu vaccines as well as masks for employees as needed for the protection of patients, staff, guests and the community. According to the CDC, some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinatedeach year.
EMH CEO, Cherelle Montanye, says the influenza policy at EMH is common among hospitals. “As a healthcare organization it is our responsibility and obligation to protect our patients, visitors, and co-workers, as well as ourselves and families, against the seasonal influenza virus.”
To avoid spreading flu and other viral diseases:
Wash your hands frequently
Cover coughs and sneezes (use a tissue or your upper sleeve, NOT your hands)
Stay home if you are ill
The flu vaccine is available at all EMH family clinics: Ackley Medical Center, Ellsworth Family Medicine and the Iowa Falls Clinic. Contact your family physician if you have questions about the vaccine, or need to schedule an appointment to be vaccinated.