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Lee Health reports continued increase in number of flu cases

January 24, 2018
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

For the fourth week in a row, Lee Health has seen significant increases in flu.

Dr. Mary Beth Saunders, system medical director for Lee Health's Epidemiology and Infection Prevention, provided information and tips to help people stay as healthy as possible - and to know where to go and what to do if they are not - throughout the widespread and intense flu season.

With the incidences of flu continuing to climb, Saunders reminds everyone of some of the various places they can catch the flu and other germs, including:

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- Restrooms - buttons, levers, handles, any high-touch area

- Buttons and hand rails - ATMs, store checkouts, staircases, elevators, escalators

- Gym equipment

- Shopping carts

- Gas pumps

- Desks - keyboards, phones, mouse, stapler, ink pens

- Handshakes

- Kitchen sponges, handles, countertops

- Accessories - purses, jewelry

To combat the germs, use hand sanitizer, practice good hand hygiene - wash hands often, wipe down surfaces before touching them like gym equipment and shopping carts, and avoid touching your face after touching the surfaces.

It is also important for everyone in the community to:

- Get the flu vaccine, as well as the pneumococcal vaccine (a secondary illness)

- Stay home when you are ill - especially do not visit the hospital if you have flu-like symptoms

- Cover your cough and, if you use a tissue, dispose of it in a waste receptacle

If you experience signs and symptoms of flu, avoid the emergency departments and instead visit your primary care doctor, a Lee Health Convenient Care, walk-in or urgent care center.

To minimize the spread of flu viruses during the peak time, Lee Health is temporarily restricting visitation of children age 12 and younger from visiting all units in hospitals across Lee Health, including Cape Coral Hospital, Gulf Coast Medical Center, HealthPark Medical Center, Golisano Children's of Southwest Florida and Lee Memorial Hospital; the restriction will be in place until further notice. Compassionate care allowances will be made as needed.



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