Flu Cases Continue to Increase

Good Hand Hygiene is Best Defense

(Fort Myers, Fla. – Jan. 24, 2018) --- For the fourth week in a row, Lee Health has seen significant increases in flu. Throughout this widespread and intense flu season, Lee Health’s Mary Beth Saunders, D.O., system medical director, Epidemiology and Infection Prevention, has provided information and tips to help people stay as healthy as possible, and to know where to go and what to do if they aren’t.

With the incidences of flu continuing to climb, Dr. Saunders reminds us of some of the various places we can catch the flu and other germs, including:

  • Restrooms – buttons, levers, handles, any high-touch area
  • Buttons and hand rails – ATMs, store checkouts, staircases, elevators, escalators
  • Gym equipment
  • Shopping carts
  • Gas pumps
  • Desks – keyboards, phones, mouse, stapler, ink pens
  • Handshakes
  • Kitchen sponges, handles, countertops
  • Accessories – purses, jewelry

To combat these germs, use hand sanitizer, practice good hand hygiene—wash hands often, wipe down surfaces before touching them (i.e., gym equipment, shopping carts), and avoid touching your face after touching these surfaces.

It is also important for everyone in the community to:

  • Get the flu vaccine, as well as the pneumococcal vaccine (a secondary illness)
  • Stay home when you are ill—especially do not visit the hospital if you have flu-like symptoms
  • Cover your cough and, if you use a tissue, dispose of it in a waste receptacle

If you experience signs and symptoms of flu, avoid the emergency departments and instead visit your primary care doctor, a Lee Health Convenient Care, walk-in or urgent care center—they are able to diagnose and treat flu.

To minimize the spread of flu viruses during this peak time, Lee Health is temporarily restricting visitation of children age 12 and younger from visiting all units in hospitals across Lee Health, including Cape Coral Hospital, Gulf Coast Medical Center, HealthPark Medical Center, Golisano Children’s of Southwest Florida and Lee Memorial Hospital. This restriction will be in place until further notice. Compassionate care allowances will be made as needed.

About Lee Health

Since the opening of the first hospital in 1916, Lee Health has been a health care leader in Southwest Florida, constantly evolving to meet the needs of the community. A non-profit, integrated health care services organization, Lee Health is committed to the well-being of every individual served, focused on healthy living and maintaining good health. Staffed by caring people, inspiring health, services are conveniently located throughout the community in four acute care hospitals, two specialty hospitals, outpatient centers, walk-in medical centers, primary care and specialty physician practices and other services across the continuum of care. Learn more at www.LeeHealth.org

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