Infection Prevention Beyond Cold and Flu

November 3, 2014

Infection Prevention: Beyond the Common Cold and Flu

Wytheville, VA (Monday, November 03, 2014) - With the advent of Fall, cold and flu season arrives, which means it’s time to arm yourself and your loved ones with the proper preventive measures to stay well. Be prepared by making sure you and your family have had your immunizations, and taking sensible measures to avoid the spread of illness.
 
This year, reports of other illnesses – Ebola and Enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68) – have overshadowed cold and flu season and prompted concern in communities across the country and worldwide. While the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) does not anticipate the widespread outbreak of Ebola in the United States, and we have seen no cases of EV-D68 locally, we understand that news reports about the rise of unfamiliar viruses can be intimidating. 

The good news is that you can effectively protect yourself and your family from these and other viruses by following standard procedures for good hygiene and infection control. Wythe County Community Hospital recommends the following, in accordance with guidelines from the CDC:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, scrubbing the backs, between fingers, and under your nails, for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Or, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – especially with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid close contact and sharing food, cups or eating utensils with anyone who may have a virus. 
  • Disinfect your home and belongings, such as children’s toys and play areas, regularly. 
  • Ensure that those who are sick stay home from school or work to avoid exposing others to infection. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue or, if not available, your sleeve or elbow (not your hands). 

The flu vaccine is the number one way to prevent the flu. In fact, the CDC recommends that everyone from children age six months to adults have an annual flu vaccination. Wythe County Community Hospital Preparedness.  In addition to your personal efforts to prevent the spread of viruses, WCCH wants to assure the community that we are taking the appropriate precautions to keep our patients, employees and community safe. We operate according to CDC and state health department guidelines to provide safe, appropriate care and give you the information and resources to keep you and your family well.

Our care team at WCCH is trained and prepared to manage outbreaks of infectious diseases, including Ebola and EV-D68.  In fact, out of an abundance of caution, you may notice the following changes we have implemented to proactively prepare for a potential case of Ebola:

Additional questions added upon registration regarding recent travel to foreign countries

Signage posted at hospital entrances inquiring about travel to foreign countries 

Please remember that these are purely preventive measures to protect our community and not intended to cause any alarm. Our goal is to keep our community healthy. 

If you have any questions about infection prevention, please call us at (276) 228-0371.