Seasonal influenza (the flu) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. The flu can cause moderate to severe illness, and at times even lead to hospitalization or death. The flu is contagious, meaning it spreads from person to person by coughing, sneezing or talking. Children, especially those with chronic medical problems, are particularly at risk for complications from the flu.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital recommends everyone 6 months and older receive a flu vaccine every year to reduce the chance of becoming sick from the flu. Getting a flu vaccine is the best way to protect your children, yourself and everyone around you.
The experts at Nationwide Children’s are here to help you understand the facts about seasonal flu. Dr. Dennis Cunningham is the physician director for Epidemiology and Infection Control at Nationwide Children’s. He is a father to two young children and personally shares every family’s concerns about flu. Hear his answers to the questions on your mind.
To protect our patients during viral season, it is necessary to restrict inpatient visitors in all intensive care units, all neonatal units and Hematology/Oncology. Beginning Monday, December 2, 2013 (through approximately mid-March 2014), all visitors to these units must be healthy and 12 years of age and older. This includes siblings.
Patients/parents in these units will be asked to identify up to four additional people, 14 years of age and older, they wish to visit during their stay. The four names given will be listed in the patient’s medical record. Only visitors with their name listed will be able to visit the patient for the duration of visitor restrictions.
Learn more or view a video explaining visitor restrictions during viral season on our flu resources page.
Wondering how to stay connected with patients during this time? Check out these six ways to keep in touch during visitor restrictions.
Good hand washing is key to preventing the spread of germs.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
Give your immune system a boost by: