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Letter to the Editor: The Flu is Still a Threat

Some simple steps to take to prevent the spread of the flu.

The following is a letter to the editor from Sue Garretson, an RN in
infection prevention at St. Francis Regional Medical Center.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, between December 1 st and January 25th, 2,128 people have been hospitalized for the flu in Minnesota compared to 552 during the entire last season. Minnesota has also had 75 deaths this season from the flu. Many in the community have likely heard that the numbers of those infected or hospitalized is now declining; this is true, but that does not mean it is time to relax and assume we are in the clear. The average flu season lasts until early spring and there is a substantial risk of a second peak still coming.

Care providers at St Francis Regional Medical Center would like to remind everyone to keep washing their hands, disinfect commonly used areas like door knobs and telephones, stay home when you are sick, and do NOT visit patients if you are feeling even the slightest bit ill. It is great to have visitors while you are in the hospital, but patients can be put in danger if they are exposed to the flu or other illnesses while their immunity is compromised. Thank you for helping us keep our patients’ health and safety our main priority.

It is also not too late to get your flu vaccine, contact your clinic and make an appointment.

Sue Garretson RN, MA
Infection Prevention
St Francis Regional Medical Center

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