LMS Nurse: Influenza Notice

From the LMS Nurse

(The following was recently shared with our staff members yesterday.)

Influenza is off to an early and strong start in the St. Louis area and in our immediate community.  The dramatic increase in cases currently being diagnosed in our area is caused by a strain of Influenza A.  Because of the recent jump in cases, health officials are urging individuals to get vaccinated if they have not already.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that even if the vaccine does not quite match a strain found, the vaccination can still provide some protection by reducing the likelihood of severe outcomes such as hospitalization and death.  It is important to note that most cases of the current strain of Influenza A affect children, ages 5 to 14 (including our student population).

Influenza is a contagious respiratory infection characterized by muscle aches,
headache and fever.  Young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with certain medical conditions are at higher risk of complications.
Signs and Symptoms of the seasonal flu:
  Sore Throat
  Body Aches

If you have any of the above symptoms, especially a fever of 100° F or higher, it is recommended that you contact your medical provider for evaluation.  Antiviral medications may be indicated.

To Prevent the Spread of Influenza and General Precautions to Stay Healthy:
  Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially after you cough, sneeze, or blow your nose.
  Whenever you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth.  If possible, use a tissue; throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.  If a tissue is not available, cough into your sleeve, rather than your hand.
  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth as much as possible.
  Maintain a distance of three (3) feet between you and other people.
  Avoid people who have a cold, and, if you catch a cold, avoid contact with other people.
  If you are sick (or think you may be sick), stay home from work or school.
  If possible, talk to healthcare providers by phone to avoid an in-person office visit

To protect against this recent spike in cases, St. Louis County will be offering two free flu clinics:
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
North County - John C. Murphy Health Center
6121 North Hanley Road in Berkeley (63134)
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
South County  - Local Union Hall #110
4532 S. Lindbergh Blvd., in Sunset Hills (63127)
Located immediately north of the South County Health Center

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