ATLANTA, GA. (October 26, 2011)—The yearly flu season has arrived and Piedmont Healthcare physicians across North Georgia are already beginning to see patients showing signs of seasonal flu. In addition to recommendations from Piedmont experts on how to prevent the spread of flu and recognize its symptoms, Piedmont hospitals and physician offices are taking additional steps to help ensure the safety of everyone who enters a Piedmont facility.
There are two very important steps individuals can take to help protect their families from the flu this year. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. In addition, individuals can take everyday preventive steps like staying away from those who are ill and washing hands frequently to reduce the spread of germs.
Jill Swart, RN, Occupational Health Services administers flu vaccination to R. Timothy Stack, president and CEO of Piedmont Healthcare
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness and, in some cases, can lead to death. Symptoms often include some or all of the following:
- Fever or chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Vomiting and diarrhea
Piedmont Healthcare bolstered its flu vaccination policy for all healthcare personnel because it is committed to the health and safety of its patients, visitors, employees, employee’s families, physicians and volunteers. Piedmont employees, physicians and volunteers who are unable to get vaccinated due to allergy or other reason will wear protective masks when entering patient care areas. Wearing a mask does not signify that a Piedmont representative is sick, however they are not able to receive a flu shot and masks protect both the employee and those around them.
“While we still don’t have a cure for the flu, we do have effective preventative tools at our disposal,” said Leigh Hamby, M.D., chief medical officer for Piedmont Healthcare. “Flu vaccines area readily available and have shown to be quite effective at preventing the spread and severity of seasonal flu. Because we have made a promise to make the safety of our patients, visitors and staff a priority, it only makes sense that we should take any and all methods of disease prevention into consideration.”
For more information about Piedmont Healthcare, visit piedmont.org.