Protecting residents from influenza
As we enter a new year, we also enter peak influenza (flu) season. Right now the northeastern United States, including Pennsylvania and Maryland, are showing widespread flu cases.
At Ecumenical Retirement Community, our number one priority is the safety and well-being of our residents, co-workers and visitors. If you have cold or flu symptoms, we ask you to refrain from visiting our campus until you feel better.
Flu is a highly contagious respiratory disease that infects the nose, throat and lungs, and can lead to serious complications, hospitalization or even death. Older people and those with certain health conditions are a high risk for serious complications.
The best thing you can do to prevent yourself and your loved ones from getting flu is to get vaccinated. It is not too late as flu season runs through May. Ecumenical Retirement Community strongly encourages all co-workers to get a flu shot and offers the shot to our team on every campus. Co-workers who choose to not get a flu shot are required to wear a surgical mask at all times when on campus throughout flu season. If you are visiting, please do not be alarmed if you see caregivers wearing masks-they are not sick but are taking necessary precautions to protect others. If you are visiting and did not receive your annual flu vaccine, please feel free to take a mask to protect yourself and our residents from spreading illnesses. Free masks are available at the main entrance and front desk in each building.
Unfortunately several myths about flu vaccination exist. Perhaps the most common myth is that a person will get the flu from the vaccination. This is simply not true. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, viruses contained in flu shots are inactivated (killed), which means they cannot cause infection. Flu vaccine manufacturers kill the viruses used in the flu shot during the process of making vaccine, and batches of flu vaccine are tested to make sure they are safe.
According to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, good health habits can help stop germs.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
- Stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
- Clean your hands. Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his/her eyes, nose or mouth.
- Practice other good health habits. Get eight hours of sleep, be physically active, manage stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious foods.