Health officials say the public needs to do more to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
Health officials say infectious diseases are on the rise in the United States.
Representatives at Flowers Hospital say International Infection Prevention Week is a good time to remind healthcare workers and the public to take precautions. Flu season is already upon us.
Darla Silavent, R.N. and director of Infection Control at Flowers Hospital says, “It is colder temperatures, more people are inside, there is a greater risk for sharing the virus. The challenge is most people are not symptomatic until after 24 hours. So, 24 hours prior to symptoms they are contagious.”
This year, experts are extremely concerned about a pandemic flu outbreak. They say it's not a matter of if it will happen, but when.
Cyndi Tereszkiewicz with the Alabama Dept. of Public Health said, “With the pandemic, since it's a brand new virus out there, they're going to have to find and develop a new vaccine and that's why it's so important for us to take good care of ourselves, especially with the personal hygiene.”
Health officials say guard yourself against staph infections like MRSA by keeping cuts covered and clean.
No preventative measure is 100% effective, but there are some things you can do to help stop the spread of infectious diseases.
Wash your hands, use an anti-bacterial gel with at least 62 % alcohol base and get a flu shot.
“The main reason to get a flu shot is prevent the flu because if we can prevent the virus, the infection, then we can prevent those complications that we see with the influenza virus,” Silavent adds.
That’s good advice to help keep everyone safe.
For more information on infection control, log onto the Center for Disease Control's website at www.cdc.gov or the Alabama Department of Public Health's website at www.adph.org.