Fighting the flu

Fighting Back Against This Year’s Flu

Thursday, March 1, 2018 |

With thousands of confirmed influenza cases across Delaware, Bayhealth would like to remind the community of the importance of taking safeguards to protect themselves from contracting the flu.

A flu season typically begins in October and ends in May with a normal peak season of February. Even though we’re midway through flu season, Bayhealth Occupational Health Medical Director Parvathi Somasundaram, MD, says it’s still just as important to get the flu shot if you haven’t already done so. “The flu shot is the single best way to prevent the flu because it truly saves lives,” Dr. Somasundaram said.

When it comes to the flu, there are four types of viruses – A, B, C, and D – with Influenza A and B the cause of seasonal epidemics in the winter. Within Influenza A and B, there are different strands of the flu. This year, the most reported cases in Kent and Sussex County cases are Influenza A, no subtype and Influenza B, no lineage.

The flu virus spreads from person to person through droplets from when someone coughs, sneezes or talks. Being a highly contagious virus, a person can spread the flu from day 1 before symptoms develop and up to a week after becoming sick. “The Emergency Department has seen a large number of patients come in with the flu, and we’re doing everything we can to help them. There are things community members can do at home to prevent the flu,” Dr. Somasundaram said.

Tips to prevent the flu

  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • If you’re sick, stay home.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands constantly with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially our eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits including disinfecting surfaces, getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, and managing your stress.

To get your flu shot, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Visit Bayhealth.org/Find-A-Doc or call 1-866-BAY-DOCS (229-3627) if you’re in need of a physician.