Tag Archives: sick

Handwashing: A Simple, Effective, Painless Way To Help Fight Germs

Want to know a simple, effective, painless way to protect yourself and others and put a stop to the spread of germs? Wash your hands.

Regular handwashing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick and keep from spreading germs to others. It is particularly important to wash your hands at appropriate times before, during and after preparing food, after using the toilet and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

It’s flu season. While getting the annual flu vaccine is the single best way to protect yourself and your loved ones, it’s also important to wash your hands. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.

So, how should you wash your hands to make sure they are clean? Here’s what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. If you need a timer, hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

If clean, running water is not accessible, use soap and available water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol to clean your hands.

Visit the CDC’s website for more information on handwashing.

From Other Blogs: Keeping cool in hot weather, avoiding uninvited guests at summer outings, using trauma-informed care to inform emergency preparedness and response

A collection of health and environmental posts from other governmental blogs.

Keep Your Cool in Hot Weather

Now is the time to prepare for the high temperatures that kill hundreds of people every year. Extreme heat causes more than 600 deaths each year. Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable, yet many people still die from extreme heat every year.

Take measures to stay cool, remain hydrated, and keep informed. Getting too hot can make you sick. You can become ill from the heat if your body can’t compensate for it and properly cool you off.  The main things affecting your body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather are … — From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Your Health – Your Environment blog

How to Avoid Uninvited Guests at Your Summer Outing

In the summertime, as the weather begins to heat up, our microscopic friends, called bacteria, begin to make uninvited appearances at our cookouts, picnics and even camping trips. Sometimes these little friends can be helpful, but other times, they just make you sick.

Bacteria will grow anywhere they have access to nutrients and water. Microorganisms that cause disease are called pathogens. When certain pathogens enter the food supply, they can cause foodborne illness. – From the US Department of Agriculture blog

Using trauma-informed care to guide emergency preparedness and response

Exposure to a traumatic event or set of circumstances can negatively affect a person’s mental, physical, social, emotional or spiritual well-being for a long time after the initial incident. We know that not all individuals respond to trauma in the same way and we know that individuals with a history of trauma, especially childhood trauma, are more likely to experience psychological distress and are at increased risk for the development of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with future exposure to trauma. – From the CDC’s Public Health Matters blog

DHEC in the News: Focus On The Flu

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around South Carolina.

Flu outbreak forces Columbia hospital to add temporary space

An influx of patients sick with the flu in the Midlands has prompted a Columbia-area hospital to add a mobile unit to help with additional patient volume.

Palmetto Health Richland will use a “temporary mobile medical unit” starting Thursday to help expedite patient discharges, said Tammie Epps, spokeswoman for the hospital.

38 more people in South Carolina died from the flu; virus showing no signs of slowing down

Another 38 South Carolinians have died from the flu, the state health department reported Wednesday, bringing the total this season to 84 deaths in the state.

To make matters worse, the latest flu report offers no evidence the virus is slowing down.

At the Roper St. Francis Express Care in Summerville on Wednesday morning, 27 patients needed medical treatment within the first few hours of the clinic’s opening. Twenty of them had the flu.

SC flu-related deaths nearly double in one week

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control say 84 people have now died from the flu since the start of the season, nearly double the number of reported deaths from last week.

Those numbers are as of January 27. Just last week, the number of flu-related fatalities was 46.

Of the 84 total deaths, 38 of them occurred between Jan. 21 and Jan. 27, according to DHEC.

SC flu fatalities soar past 80 in deadliest week yet for Palmetto State

This flu season continues to inflict severe damage in South Carolina.

In the past week, the number of reported flu-related deaths has almost doubled, as 38 more deaths have been reported by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Lowcountry school districts report higher absentee numbers as flu cases rise

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – Lowcountry doctors are seeing an increase in patients, and schools are seeing an increase in absences.

For the month of January, all the Roper St. Francis hospitals and physicians saw 2,660 cases of the flu. Trident Health saw 677 flu patients during the month.

With the high flu numbers, it’s leaving a lot of empty chairs in our local schools.

Here’s what to do if you get sick with the flu

No one wants to get the flu. The contagious respiratory illness can range from being mild to severe and can cause you to miss work or school. It also can lead to hospitalization — or even death.

The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated each year.

In the unfortunate event that you get sick with flu symptoms, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider.

The CDC recommends you follow these steps if you get sick:

Take Antivirals Drugs, if prescribed by a doctor. Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics. They are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) and are not available over-the-counter. They can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. It’s very important that antiviral drugs be used early to treat people who are very sick with the flu (for example, people who are in the hospital) and people who are sick with the flu and have a greater chance of getting serious flu complications, either because of their age or because they have a high risk medical condition.

 Take everyday precautions to protect others.

  • Limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. Call in sick from work and stay at home from school if you must; your coworkers and classmates will be thankful.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

Stay home until you are better.

  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. When you return to work or school you should no longer need medicine to reduce your fever.

Visit the CDC’s website for more information for people who are sick.