State health officials want you to take flu control measures dur - - Jackson, MS

State health officials want you to take flu control measures during unexpectedly active flu season

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

This Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) encourages everyone to continue to protect yourself during this unusually high flu season. 

The magnolia state has already experienced high levels of flu activity, several weeks before its normal time in January. 

RELATED: CDC reports twice as many flu cases in 2017

"MSDH has received reports from hospitals across the state that are experiencing increased admissions to ICUs and increased visits to Emergency Departments which have hospitals operating at full capacity," says Dr. Paul Byers, State Epidemiologist for MSDH. 

Local hospitals like University of Mississippi Medical Center has administered limitations to patient visitors, RELATED: UMMC imposes visitor restrictions to combat flu, and now St. Dominic Memorial Hospital have released flu-related restrictions today. 

St. Dominic's said their hospital is seeing high incidences of the flu and are taking the following precautions for the safety of their patients:

  • No visitors with flu-like symptoms (fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, etc.)
  • No more than two visitors per patient
  • No children under the age of 12
  • Clean your hands at provided hand sanitizer station

Byers said that some hospitals, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities may be restricting visitors and limiting access to public waiting areas. Visitors can assist hospitals and other facilities in their effort to reduce the spread of flu by:

  • If you are ill do not visit family or friends—ill visitors should wait at least 48 hours after symptoms resolve before considering a visit;
  • Do not take groups to visit, or accompany family or friends to the hospital/healthcare facility or emergency department;
  • Limit or don’t take children to visit at the facility;
  • All visitors should  cover coughs and sneezes and practice hand hygiene;
  • Visitors should only visit their family or friends; they should not visit or have contact with other patients or residents;
  • Patients, families and visitors should follow any additional recommendations/restrictions set forth by the healthcare facility. 

Byers also says the flu shot is still the best protection against the spread of the flu and should be taken seriously whether you are vaccinated or not including:

  • Covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing 
  • Staying at home when you or your children are sick for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone
  • Washing your hands frequently

MSDH is still offering flu shots for children 18 and under who are eligible for Vaccines for Children, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIPS) at your local county health department clinics. 

To find the nearest MSDH clinic near you can find out HERE.

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