Protecting Yourself and Our Community from the Flu

January 12, 2017

It’s winter time, and the flu season is here. Recently, the level of confirmed influenza-related illness in Danville & Pittsylvania County has increased and we want to help protect you and your family from the flu!

Danville Regional Medical Center (DRMC) is dedicated to making communities healthier, a big part of which includes helping educate our community on prevention. There are several things you can do to protect yourself from the flu and other infections, prevent it from spreading and speed up recovery, should you contract the virus. 

“First, get vaccinated. This is the best available form of protection from the virus. While it is still possible to contract the flu after receiving a vaccination, it is much less likely” says Dr. Michael Ward, DRMC Emergency Room Medical Director. “Furthermore, studies have shown that flu vaccinations can make your illness milder, if you do get sick. To get your flu shot, go to a walk-in clinic such as Family Healthcare Center Mount Hermon, a pharmacy, or your physician’s office.” 

Dr. Ward and DRMC offer other important preventative measures including:

-    Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, for 20 seconds.
-    Or, use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol-based.
-    Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
-    Avoid sharing food, cups or eating utensils.
-    Disinfect your home and belongings, such as children’s toys and play areas.
-    Stay home from school or work if you are sick.
-    Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a tissue, your sleeve or elbow, and NOT your bare hands. 
-    Get a flu shot.
-    Call your local hospital or your primary care doctor with any questions. 

If you or a loved one begins to notice symptoms including coughing, sore throat, muscle aches, fever or upper respiratory symptoms, please see your doctor right away. Early detection is especially important for young children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with certain chronic health issues. When detected early, prescription antiviral drugs can often help treat the illness and shorten the time you are sick by one or two days. 

In addition, limit contact with others as much as possible immediately after noticing symptoms. Stay home (or keep your child home) for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to seek medical care or for other necessities.

With flu cases on the rise, Danville Regional Medical Center kindly asks guests not to visit if you are exhibiting the signs and symptoms mentioned above. Also, we respectfully ask that infants and children under the age of 16 not visit in the hospital during flu season. 

During flu season and year-round, Danville Regional Medical Center is here to respond to your healthcare needs. If you have any questions or concerns about the visitation requests above, our dedicated staff can help. Simply call 434-799-3892. 

For additional information about influenza, visit https://www.cdc.gov/flu/.