A southern Ohio health care provider is seeing a sharp increase in the number of flu cases being seen at its facilities. Adena Health System is stressing caution for those planning to visit patients at locations in Chillicothe, Waverly and Greenfield. While Adena is not limiting visitors at this time, people are being asked to voluntarily not to come to the hospital to visit patients if they have been recently exposed to the flu, or are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
"We're seeing mostly influenza type A, which is a more severe form of influenza, but we are seeing some cases of influenza B," said Julie McCray, infection prevention manager at Adena Regional Medical Center.
So far this year, Adena has seen 9 people hospitalized with the flu. There were 14 during the entire flu season in 2013.
"We often talk about soap and water washing, but the alcohol hand sanitizers are very effective, so make sure that you're doing that when you cough, sneeze, or blow your nose or just when you've been in public places and you're touching things that other people have been touching," she said.
It is not too late to receive a flu vaccination. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends flu shots for anyone six months of age and older. Flu shots are still available at most primary care physician offices, local health departments or clinics, and at many local pharmacies.