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  •  Number of flu patients up at Rome Memorial Hospital

    The number of flu cases at Rome Memorial Hospital has risen greatly since Jan. 1, according to Amy Carissimo-Harris, RN, BS, director of Infection Prevention. In addition, the overall volume of patients and confirmed flu diagnoses have both risen significantly at the hospital’s newly opened urgent care facility, Physicians Urgent Care at Griffiss.
    “Although the number of patients coming to the emergency department has been higher this month, the increases are anticipated, and this has not significantly impacted patient care at the hospital,” Carissimo-Harris said. “There is no shortage of patient beds at this time, nor have we been significantly impacted by the nationwide shortages of IV fluids and supplies”
    Visitor restrictions for hospitalized patients and residents of the Residential Health Care Facility at the hospital remain in effect. Only healthy adults age 18 and older may visit patients at Rome Memorial Hospital at this time. The maternity and pediatric departments also are limiting visitors to parents, birthing coaches and grandparents.
    “We encourage anyone who is planning to come to the hospital to visit a patient or resident to please call ahead,” Carissimo-Harris said. “Although not in effect at this time, there may be a future need to close certain units of the hospital to visitors to protect our patients and residents”.
    Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
    • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • Runny or stuffy nose
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headaches
    • Fatigue (tiredness)
    • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
    * It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
    According to the Centers for Disease Control, most people who get influenza will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of the flu, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death.
    Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections are examples of complications from flu. The flu can make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may experience worsening of this condition that is triggered by the flu.
    Anyone can get the flu, even healthy people, and serious problems related to the flu can happen at any age, but some people are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and young children. People with the flu may be infectious for up to 7 days after symptoms begin.
    Seasonal vaccination against the flu remains your best protection. In addition to getting a flu shot and staying home when sick, it's important to practice good hand and respiratory hygiene:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to protect yourself from germs and avoid spreading them to others.
    • Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to use when soap and water are not available. Choose a product with at least 60 percent alcohol.
    • Do not cough or sneeze into your hands. Instead, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Tissues should be discarded immediately and not reused. Use of a cloth handkerchief is not recommended.
    • Wipe down common surfaces frequently. Most commercially available cleaning wipes will kill the flu virus on contact.