Influenza is Widespread in Virginia

Submitted by Bill Doherty, MD, Interim CMO & Allison Baroco, MD, Medical Director of Infectious Disease, Augusta Health

As you likely aware, influenza has hit the Commonwealth and our community hard. This week, we have had an average of 10-15 hospitalized patients with influenza. Also this week, two patients on our surgical unit have tested positive for influenza A. One patient tested positive two days into his admission and the second patient, today, has been with us since 2/1/19. Two patients testing positive for influenza within their respective admissions is concerning.

Stress with staff the importance of:

  1. Early recognition of respiratory symptoms and early isolation when influenza is suspected
  2. Strict adherence to appropriate donning and doffing of personal protective equipment
  3. Meticulous equipment cleaning and disinfecting according to manufacturer’s recommended guidelines
  4. Environmental cleaning; we all need to pitch in
  5. Meticulous attention to proper hand hygiene: every patient, every time, every opportunity

Please continue to remind staff and your colleagues about following preventative measures that will help limit the spread of influenza, not only to our vulnerable patients, but to themselves and their families.

Below, find the link to the CDC recommendations of three actions to fight the flu.×11.pdf

Stress with Staff:

  1. Stay home if you are sick. If you or a family member gets sick, it is recommended to stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medications
  2. Get your flu vaccine. It is not too late
  3. Cover coughs and sneezes
  4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth
  5. Limit sick contacts
  6. Eat healthy, drink plenty of fluids and get rest, keep your immune system healthy
  7. WASH YOUR HANDS – it is key. Wash with soap and water or rub with alcohol foam rinse for at least 20 seconds. The friction and the running water gets the germs off your hands; the friction and drying of the alcohol based foam rinse that inactivate germs

Also, please note the graphs below, Influenza Summary by Year for our hospital as well as the CDC Flu View for week ending 2/2/19.