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  Friday August 1st, 2014    

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Flu cases confirmed in Winona (02/18/2007)
Winona Health has confirmed several cases of influenza in the Winona area, affecting both adults and children.

"We're encouraging all community members to use good hygiene habits to help limit the spread of the flu," said Sara Gabrick, Winona Health's vice president-patient care. She reminded people of all ages to:

~ Cover their mouths and noses with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue away in an appropriate receptacle. If a tissue is not available, it's better to cough or sneeze into an upper sleeve than into one's hands. It's important to cover your nose or mouth so that germs do not become airborne.

~ Wash hands with soap and water thoroughly after coughing or sneezing, or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.

~ Stay home, drink plenty of fluids, and get sufficient rest if showing symptoms of the flu or a cold.

~ Limit visits to the hospital and long-term care facilities if you are coughing or sneezing. "We don't want to introduce cold or flu germs to people in healthcare settings who may already have weakened immune systems," Gabrick stated. "It's better to phone or send a card or note than to compromise someone's recovery."

When to take your child to the Emergency Department

Gabrick added, "It's natural for parents to be concerned when their child is ill." She encouraged parents to work with their child's primary care provider if they have concerns about their child's health. "Follow your doctor's instructions about keeping your child's fever under control," she said. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control noted the following pediatric "emergency warning signs" need urgent medical attention:

Fast breathing or trouble breathing

Bluish skin color

Not drinking enough fluids

Not waking up or not interacting

Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held

Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

Fever with a rash

"As a parent, you know your child," Gabrick said. "If you have concerns or something doesn't seem right, call your healthcare provider or bring your child to the hospital's Emergency Department."  

 

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