Statement On Influenza from Adventist HealthCare
All three of Adventist HealthCare’s local Emergency Department locations – Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville, the Shady Grove Adventist Emergency Center in Germantown and Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park - are seeing an influx of patients with flu-like symptoms. We are seeing approximately 40 extra patients per day in our Shady Grove Adventist Hospital main Emergency Department in Rockville and between 15 and 30 per day at our Emergency Center in Germantown, as compared to a year ago. In addition to patients with flu, we are seeing many patients with other illnesses such as RSV, stomach bugs and respiratory viruses.
At Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park we are seeing approximately 20 extra patients a day as compared to a year ago. While some of these patients are experiencing flu-like symptoms, we are also seeing patients with other types of illness and medical conditions such as heart attacks and stomach viruses.
Both hospitals have a continual practice of assessing patient volumes and making decisions about whether to add additional staff at any given time based on the community's need.
Our community flu vaccinations are handled by the Adventist HealthCare Health and Wellness Department, which currently has some types of flu vaccine for adults and children. We are working with local physician offices that are out of vaccine to help share our supply. We have set up flu vaccination clinics for the community in the coming days. Please visit www.helpstoptheflu.com for locations, dates and costs. Also, visit our hospital Facebook pages for information. Information is also available by calling 1-800-542-5096.
We encourage members of our community to take step to protect themselves and their families from the flu. A flu vaccination is the best defense against the flu and it is not too late to get vaccinated.
Below are some other tips on the flu.
Flu Prevention Tips
Everyone plays an important role in helping to stop the spread of flu. Take these simple steps to help keep yourself, your family and our community healthy:
- Get vaccinated.
- Wash your hands often, especially after coughing, sneezing, and wiping or blowing the nose.
- Cover your mouth with your elbow or sleeve instead of your hand.
- Use paper tissues when wiping or blowing your nose; throw tissues away after use.
- Stay away from crowded living and sleeping spaces, if possible.
- If you or your children are sick, stay home and avoid contact with other people to protect them from catching your illness.
- Drink adequate liquids to keep your body hydrated.
Tips for Clean Hands
Keeping our hands clean through hand washing or the use of hand sanitizers is one of the best ways that we can all help to stop the spread of flu this fall. Here are some important tips:
- Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Be sure to wash wrists, palms, back of hands and under fingernails.
- Rinse your hands well and then dry your hands with a clean or disposable towel.
- Wash hands before preparing or eating food and after using the bathroom.
- Use a towel to turn off the faucet and open a public restroom door. Please dispose of trash properly.
- When using hand sanitizer, apply product to the palm of the hand, rub hands together and make sure to cover all hand surfaces including fingers until hands are dry.
Know the Symptoms
Learning the symptoms of the flu can help you catch it early and avoid long term health problems. Flu symptoms come on quickly and are usually more severe than cold symptoms and can make you feel ill up to several weeks.
Common Signs of the Flu:
- Runny nose
- Head and body aches
- Sore throat