(Before we begin today’s topic, I want to be sure you had an opportunity to read my recent post about an exciting new feature for my blog subscribers. In case you missed it, you can access the article here.)
Last week I went to the nursing home to do manicures for residents in the memory care unit. When I arrived, a sign on the door announced the start of special precautions to help prevent the spread of influenza.
It’s scary to hear about the widespread cases of the flu around the country this year. But there are measures we can take to protect ourselves and our residents. Check out these 6 fascinating facts from the Centers For Disease Control:
- People with the flu can spread it to others who are as much as 6 feet away. Flu viruses are primarily spread by droplets created when people with influenza cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or they can be inhaled into the lungs.
- You can also catch the flu by touching an object that has flu virus on it and then touching your face. Influenza viruses can survive on surfaces for 24 hours.
- One of the best ways to help prevent the flu is through good handwashing. Be sure you scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. (Did you know that singing the “Happy Birthday To You” song two times takes about 20 seconds? So sing to yourself while you wash your hands!) Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are a good option when you can’t wash your hands.
- People may be able to infect others starting 1 day prior to developing symptoms and up to 7 days after becoming ill. Stay home if you have influenza or you risk spreading it to your vulnerable residents.
- Historically, seasonal flu activity usually peaks in February in the United States, although it can last into May. So you can still benefit from a flu shot!
- A flu shot helps protect you and the people around you. During the 2016-2017 flu season, only 43% of U.S. adults were vaccinated.
I hope you’ll share this post with your friends and co-workers. Let’s help put the brakes on the spread of the flu!