This year, join Duke Medicine: Protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu!
To help protect our patients and their loved ones and to ensure the safety of our healthcare environment, Duke Regional Hospital (a proud part of Duke Medicine) is strongly encouraging all its team members to get vaccinated against the flu. Getting vaccinated is the most effective way to prevent getting and spreading the flu.
Early prevention is best
When it comes to getting vaccinated against the flu, the sooner the better.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone over the age of six months should get the flu shot as soon as the vaccine is available, usually beginning in September. Many people mistakenly believe their protection against this deadly infection will wane come peak flu season if they get the flu shot in early fall. In fact, getting vaccinated early means you and your loved ones will build protection against the flu that will last throughout the season.
“As healthcare workers, it is our responsibility to ensure we provide safe care to every patient, every time,” says Vicky Orto, chief nursing and patient care services officer at Duke Regional. “This is why Duke Regional Hospital clinical and support services team members will get vaccinated against the flu. Our community shares the responsibility to protect themselves and their loved ones.”
For anyone afraid of or uncomfortable with needles, there is a nasal spray vaccine available. This year there are also vaccines for people with egg allergies and for people who live a vegan lifestyle. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to learn more about any of these flu vaccines.
Keep the bug at bay
The flu virus can strike at any time of year. The flu typically causes fever, chills, headache, sore throat and fatigue. If you develop these symptoms, the CDC recommends staying home from work or school and avoiding contact with others until 24 hours after your fever subsides.
Before flu hits, keep your guard up with these preventive steps:
- Wash your hands regularly using antibacterial soap and warm water. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is great to use when you’re on the go.
- Avoid hand-to-face contact, as bacteria finds its way into your body through your mouth, nose and eyes.
- Don’t smoke. Enhanced immunity is one of the many benefits associated with quitting smoking. If you smoke, you may be more vulnerable to viral infections such as the flu.
- Get vaccinated. Flu shots are recommended for most people, especially children, pregnant women and healthcare providers.