Influenza

Flu shot appointments are available at some clinic locations for existing Fort HealthCare patients. PLEASE CALL FOR AN APPOINTMENT. (Fort HealthCare employees will receive vaccinations from their employer).

Locations to receive a seasonal flu shot are:
  • Fort HealthCare Cambridge Clinic , 704 Katie Court, Cambridge (608-423-1100)
  • Fort HealthCare Internal Medicine & Pediatrics, 500 McMillen Street, Fort Atkinson (920-563-5571) 
  • Fort HealthCare Integrated Family Care, 1520 Madison Avenue, Fort Atkinson (920-563-5500)
  • Fort HealthCare Jefferson Clinic, 840 West Racine Street, Jefferson (920-674-6000)
  • Fort HealthCare Johnson Creek Clinic, 400 Doctors Court, Johnson Creek (920-699-4000)
  • Fort HealthCare Lake Mills Clinic, 200 East Tyranena Park Road, Lake Mills (920-648-8393)

Medicare and most insurances cover the seasonal flu vaccine.  If you are in doubt about your level of coverage, please check with your insurance carrier.
Fort HealthCare accepts most insurance plans, including Dean Care, Physicians Plus, Unity and more. For a complete listing, click
here.

Annual outbreaks of seasonal flu usually occur during the late fall through early spring. In a typical year, approximately 5 to 20 percent of the population gets the seasonal flu and approximately 36,000 flu-related deaths are reported.Influenza spreads from person-to-person through coughing or sneezing or by touching something with the flu virus present and then touching eyes, nose or mouth. The virus can cause mild to severe illness; and in some cases, can lead to death. Prevention is the key to avoiding getting ill. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year. Persons who are patients of Fort Medical Group primary care clinics are encouraged to call their physician’s office to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine.

Hand hygiene is one of the most important things you can do to prevent infections.
At all times, but especially during the cold and flu season, individuals should wash their hands often to prevent the spread of infections, especially after touching objects or surfaces that many different people may have come into contact with. Also, wash before eating and after using the restroom. Soap and water and alcohol-based hand sanitizer solution are equally effective and are readily available in many public locations such as grocery stores, banks and at Fort Memorial Hospital, where protection of patients is always a concern.

Steps to properly wash hands, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are:

  • Wet hands with water
  • Apply enough soap to cover the entire hand surface
  • Rub hands palm to palm
  • Rub opposite palm over the back of the other hand, switch to do opposite hands
  • Rub with fingers interlaced
  • Rub back of fingernails to opposite palm
  • Rub each thumb in the grasp of the opposite palm
  • Rinse hands with water
  • Dry hands thoroughly
  • Use towel to turn off faucet

The entire process should take 20 seconds.

Treatment of influenza

Children and young, healthy people with fever, muscle aches, fatigue, congestion, sore, throat, and possibly vomiting or diarrhea likely have a viral illness that may or may not be influenza.  The great majority of these people will recover without complications after several days without any specific medical treatment. Over-the counter fever reducers such as Acetaminophen (i.e. Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (i.e. Motrin) and cough/congestion medications are all that is needed in addition to drinking plenty of fluids and getting lots of rest. Anyone that is ill with these symptoms should be encouraged to stay home and stay away from other people to prevent further spread of illness in the community. Most otherwise healthy people with viral infections typically do not require a physician’s care and certainly do not require a visit to the Emergency Department.

The CDC recommends that people with influenza-like symptoms avoid contact with others until they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications. 
 
How influenza is spread
It is spread through person to person contact through droplet contamination. When a contagious person coughs, sneezes, or touches things others use. 
  
Symptoms of influenza
  • Sudden onset of illness
  • Fever > 100.4° F
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Muscle aches
  • Feeling of weakness/exhaustion
  • Diarrhea, vomiting, and/or abdominal pain
Cold symptoms are similar but in a milder form. They include sore throat, cough, runny nose, congestion, tiredness, and sometimes a fever. 
 
When to seek medical care
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Signs of dehydration (weakness, unresponsiveness, sunken eyes, skin tenting- grasp skin on the back of your hand and it should flatten down right away after releasing it, decreased saliva/dry mouth, decreased urine output)
  • Confusion
  • Chest pain/pressure
  • Seizures
  • Symptoms suddenly appear again after person had improved
  • Infants less than 2 months old with fever, not eating, not urinating at least 3 times per day
 Help to prevent influenza
  •  Get the flu vaccine
  •  Wash your hands often! Cleaning your hands is the single best step in preventing the spread of influenza
  • Wash your hands before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Maintain at least 6 feet between yourself and someone who is ill
  • Disinfect items such as door knobs, toys, phones, remote controls, etc…(You can use a mixture of ¼ cup of bleach and 1 gallon of cool water)
  • Be healthy- get plenty of sleep, daily activity, and eat nutritiously
  • Be a non-smoker (This increases your risk of complications from the flu)
  • Stay home if you are ill
  

Types of flu:

Pandemic flu is virulent human flu that causes a global outbreak, or pandemic, of serious illness. Because there is little natural immunity, the disease can spread easily from person to person.

Seasonal (or common) flu is a respiratory illness that can be transmitted person to person. Most people have some immunity, and a vaccine is available.

Avian flu (AI) is caused by influenza viruses that occur naturally among wild birds. Low pathogenic AI is common in birds and causes few problems. Highly pathogenic H5N1 is deadly to domestic fowl, can be transmitted from birds to humans, and is deadly to humans. There is virtually no human immunity and human vaccine availability is very limited.

Swine Flu (H1N1) is caused by an influenza virus from two genes from flu viruses that normally circulate in pigs in Europe and Asia and avian genes and human genes.Symptoms of novel H1N1 flu virus in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. Also, like seasonal flu, severe illnesses and death has occurred as a result of illness associated with this virus.

 

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