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Categories:  General Infection Control Related Healthcare Issues 

Every year in the United States, we experience an epidemic.  We call it, flu season, and it typically runs its course from October through May, peaking in December through March according to CDC.  Visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov) and search on "influenza" for the latest vaccination information and safeguard tips for the 2016-2017 season.

People at high risk for complications from the flu include the elderly, children under two years of age, pregnant women and people with pre-existing heart and lung conditions.  Occupations at increased risk include healtchare workers, and the risk increases further for those working in hospitals and long-term care facilities.

While 80% of healthcare personnel in hospitals are vaccinated early in the season, less than 60% of healthcare personnel in long-term care facilities are vaccinated early on.  Additionally, administrative and non-clinical support staff lag far behind their clinical co-workers in vaccination percentage; and, not surprisingly, personnel whose employers require vaccination are twice as likely to be vaccinated as personnel where it is not required.

Standard Pecautions against HAI's are effective at minimizing the spread of influenza.  To these must be added two reminders:  First, if you suspect you are sick with flu, stay home from work.  This is number two on CDC's top-five, preventive-measures list.  The close quarters of hospitals and long-term care facilities are fertile grounds for spreading influenza viruses, and the hazards are pronounced for many patients and visitors.  Second, the highly-contagious period for flu pre-dates the display of symptoms by up to two days. Consequently, prevention, with an emphasis on vaccination, is the principal line of defense.

Paris personnel are in helathcare institutions regularly in the course of providing linen management and other services.  Paris provides all of our employees free flu vaccinations.


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