Everything You Need to Know About the Flu

BIDMC Contributor

JANUARY 13, 2020

Couple on the couch fighting flu symptoms

Seasonal flu is a serious illness causing approximately 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths each year. Federal health officials are reporting that the 2019-2020 flu season could be the worst in decades.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older be vaccinated against influenza. Washing your hands often, and coughing and sneezing into a tissue or into the inside your elbow, will also help keep you and others healthy.

“Remember that the flu and other flu-like illnesses can spread easily, especially to those whose immune system may already be weakened by another medical condition,” says Sharon Wright,MD, MPH, BIDMC’s Senior Medical Director of Infection Control/Hospital Epidemiology.“That’s why we ask hospital staff and visitors to pay close attention to protect the health of those around them.”

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms and plan to visit a loved one in the hospital, please consider delaying your visit until you are feeling better. If are scheduled for an elective appointment or procedure, please talk to your care provider about whether it would be safe for you to reschedule.

“If you do come to the medical center with flu-like symptoms, we ask you to obtain and wear a mask, available at all BIDMC entrances,” Wright says. “And we thank you in advance for helping us fight the flu.”

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.
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