News & Events

Stark County Health Officials Plan for Flu Season

October 2, 2009

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Media Contacts listed on page 3

 

 

Stark <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />CountyHealth Officials Plan for Flu Season

 

(STARK COUNTY, Ohio – Oct. 2, 2009) – The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) expects both 2009 H1N1 flu and seasonal flu to cause illness, hospital stays and potentially death for high-risk patients this season.

 

Stark County's four hospitals and four health departments are working collaboratively to keep our community healthy. They also have strong collaboration through the Stark County Emergency Healthcare Planning Committee (Stark County EHPC) and participate in many regional and state efforts.

 

Beginning Mon., Oct. 5, visitation at all StarkCounty hospitals and their respective facilities will be limited to protect everyone. Those with cold or flu symptoms will not be permitted to visit. Persons under the age of 18 years will also not be permitted to visit because early flu is not always apparent in this age group. Exceptions may be made in special situations. As influenza volume and severity of illnesses increase, the number of visitors per patient may also be limited.

 

Local health officials would like to stress the importance of vaccination for these groups:

 

 

 

Seasonal Vaccination

 

H1N1

Vaccination

 

 

Pregnant Women
(all trimesters)

 

X
(high-risk group)

 

 

X

(high-risk group)

 

 

Children

 

 

 

6 months to

18 years

 

 

X

(high-risk group)

 

X

(high-risk group)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adults

 

 

19-24 years

old

 

 

 

X

 

Adults w/underlying diseases*

 

 

X

(high-risk group)

 

X

(high-risk group)

 

 

65 years and older

 

 

X

(high-risk group)

 

- more -

Stark County 2009-2010 Flu Season, page 2

 

 

(continued)

 

Seasonal Vaccination

 

H1N1

Vaccination

 

 

Health Care Workers and Emergency Personnel

 

 

 

X

 

 

X

 

Household contacts of
(all ages):

·   Children 0-59 months

·   Those with underlying diseases*

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

X

 

People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age

 

 

 

 

X

 

* underlying diseases: cancer; blood disorders (including sickle cell disease); chronic lung disease [including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)]; diabetes; heart disease; kidney disorders; liver disorders; neurological disorders (including nervous system, brain or spinal cord); neuromuscular disorders (including muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis), weakened immune systems (including people with AIDS).

 

Seasonal flu vaccinations are available from local physician practices; public health departments; Immediate Care facilities for Mercy, Aultman (in North Canton, Massillon and Carrollton) and Family Care NOW (in Louisville). H1N1 Vaccine is currently being produced but is not yet available.

 

In addition to vaccination, local health officials offer these other important tips:

·         To prevent spreading germs, children and adults alike should use proper hand hygiene including hand washing and use of alcohol-based sanitizer frequently.

·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

·         Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

·         When coughing or sneezing, cover the nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve but never your hand. Throw the tissue in the trash after use.

·         Learn symptoms detailed below for cold, seasonal flu and H1N1.

Symptoms

Cold

Seasonal Flu

Novel (New) Flu

H1N1

Onset

Gradual

Sudden

Sudden

Fever

Rare

Common, high

& lasts 3-4 days

Common, high

& lasts 3-4 days

Headache

Rare

Common

Common

General Aches, Pains

Slight

Usual, often severe

Usual, often severe

Fatigue, Weakness

Quite mild

Can last up to 2-3 weeks

Can last up to 2-3 weeks

Extreme Exhaustion

Never

Early and common

Early and common

Stuffy Nose

Common

Sometimes

Sometimes

Sneezing

Usual

Sometimes

Sometimes

- more -

Stark County 2009-2010 Flu Season, page 3

 

 

(continued)

Cold

Seasonal Flu

Novel (New) Flu

H1N1

Sore Throat

Common

Sometimes

Sometimes

Chest discomfort, cough

Mild to moderate

Common, can become severe

Common, can become severe

Short of Breath

Rare

Rare

Common

Vomiting

Rare

Rare

Common

Diarrhea

Rare

Rare

Common

Complications

Sinus congestion or earache

Bronchitis, pneumonia, can be life threatening

Pneumonia, and other complications, can be life threatening

 

 

  • Persons with a flu-like illness should stay at home and away from others until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100° F [37.8° C] or greater when measured orally), or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications.

 

  • If you think you are ill, contact your physician immediately for advice. Members of the high-risk flu populations experiencing the below symptoms should go to the emergency room immediately:

 

    • In children: 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, and fever with a rash

    • In adults: Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen; Sudden dizziness; Confusion, and Severe or persistent vomiting.

 

  • For additional guidance, several local resources are available:

 

    • Aultman Health Line: 330-363-7600. A registered nurse is available to answer questions 24 hours a day.

    • Canton City Health Department: 330-489-3231

    • Stark County Health Department: 330-493-9928

    • www.AffinityMedicalCenter.com

 

A Stark County-based Web site will soon be available to provide local information about the flu season. For more information online now, visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/ or www.flu.gov.

 

###

 

Media Contacts

Affinity MedicalCenter: Susan Koosh, 330-837-6887

Alliance CommunityHospital: Patricia Kimerer, 330-596-7522

Aultman Hospital: Leslee Dennis, 330-363-5319

Mercy MedicalCenter: Cindy Hickey, 339-489-1212

 

Alliance City Health Department: Randall M. Flint, 330-821-7373 ext. x 22

Canton City Health Department: Kathy Paris, 330-489-3327, cell 330-495-1154

Massillon City Health Department: Terri Argent, (330) 830-1710

Stark County Health Department: William J. Franks, 330-493-9904 ext. 210

 

 Affinity Medical Center • Alliance Community Hospital • Aultman Health Foundation • Mercy Medical Center • American Red Cross • Area Agency on Aging • Northeast Central Ohio Regional Disaster Planning Consortium • Ohio Department of Mental Health • Stark County Ambulance Association • Stark County Emergency Management Agency • Stark County Fire Chiefs Association • Stark County Local Emergency Planning Committee • Alliance City Health Department • Canton City Health Department • Massillon City Health Department • Stark County Health Department

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