New Castle News

Local News

February 1, 2014

Precautions can help people avoid getting flu

NEW CASTLE — Besides battling brutal weather, there’s another winter demon to contend with.

We’re in the middle of the flu season.

Health officials at both Lawrence County hospitals said that while the H1N1 strain — also known as swine flu — is widespread in Pennsylvania as verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, certain precautions can still be taken to avoid the virus.

First, it’s not too late to get a flu shot, said Nancy Gibson, infection preventionist at Jameson Hospital. She noted the flu season is generally considered to be from late November through March.

She said the vaccine is effective through the entire flu season.

And, “it’s best to avoid crowds. That reduces the chances of being exposed to the virus.”

According to Barbara Bernardi, director of nursing services at Jameson, the vaccine is still available in the community, particularly at drug stores.

This year, there are three strains of flu virus in the area identified by the Centers for Disease Control but H1N1 is the deadliest, Bernardi said.

“The elderly and very young are always most susceptible to the flu,” she pointed out, “but this year, it is hitting people in their 20s, 30s and 40s.”

Gibson said everybody 6 months or older should get a flu vaccine, as recommended by the CDC.

Right now, there are a lot of sick people who are respiratory patients, some of whom have the flu and some who do not, Bernardi continued.

At Ellwood City Hospital, visitors are advised not to enter if they display symptoms such as sneezing or coughing, cautioned Beverly Annarumo, chief quality officer.

“As soon as you walk in the door, there are signs telling people to wash their hands and if they do have a cough or cold, to wear a mask that we provide,” Annarumo said.

Surgical-type masks also are available in the registration area at Jameson, and signs there emphasize the importance of hand washing or using an alcohol hand sanitizer, and avoiding seeing patients if the visitor has obvious symptoms.

Hand sanitizer stations have been placed by all the entrances, elevators, registration desk, in the emergency room and every patient room, Annarumo explained.

And those hand sanitizers “are everywhere” at Jameson, Bernardi said.

The flu has a rapid onset and a person is usually infectious before actually feeling sick, she noted.

According to Bernardi symptoms include extreme body aches, respiratory issues and fever, and while gastrointestinal symptoms can occur with H1N1, it is not a leading symptom.

“If someone thinks they have the flu, they should call the doctor soon,” she said, adding antiviral medications, such as Tamiflu, are effective if the patient is seen early enough.

“We want to increase awareness to protect others as well as ourselves,” Bernardi said. “I highly recommend getting the shot; there are very little side effects to it and if you do get the flu, the symptoms should be milder.”

In 2009, there was a worldwide pandemic because of the H1N1 strain, Gibson said.

Overall, the main advice is — “If you are sick, stay home.”

(Email: lhudson@ncnewsonline.com.)

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Kara_Petro.jpg Westminster names alumni director

    Westminster College has named Kara Petro as its director of alumni relations.

     

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • LATCOM_Unspoken.jpg County fair concert to benefit LATCOM

    The Christian band Unspoken will perform a benefit concert for LATCOM at this month’s Lawrence County Fair. The event will take place at 7 p.m. Aug. 13 in the fairgrounds grandstands.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • FallenWarriorRide.jpg Fallen Warrior Ride to preface soldier tribute

    Area motorcyclists will be heading out once again this month to pay tribute to the nation’s soldiers and veterans. The second annual Fallen Warrior Ride is scheduled to leave Cascade Park at 6 p.m. Aug. 15 for a one-hour, circuitous route to Laurel High School. Once there, riders — led by the Patriot Honor Guard of Western Pennsylvania — will parade into the Lawrence County Fairgrounds, where they’ll join a Salute to the American Soldiers: For God and Country, a crusade by Vision Ministries of Lawrence County.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • LOVEkitchen.jpg Love Kitchen: Little Caesars provides special delivery for Rescue Mission

    The Little Caesars Love Kitchen rolled into the City Rescue Mission for a special delivery Wednesday. A pizza kitchen on wheels, the big rig travels across the United States and Canada to meet the needs of the hungry, the homeless and disaster survivors.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • fairphoto.jpg County fair looks for a few good bakers

    The countdown to the 2014 Lawrence County Fair has begun. In less than two weeks, the fairgrounds will be brimming with animals, vegetables, fruit, flowers, music, food and fun. This year’s fair runs from Aug. 11 to 16.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • CarolineOrrico.jpg Local teen off to state DYW event

    Lawrence County’s 2015 Distinguished Young Woman is heading back into scholarship competition.

     

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • NicholsonOffice.jpg County to buy new office for Nicholson

    Before the end of the year, the Lawrence County commissioners plan to move District Judge Jennifer Nicholson into new offices.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • PortersvilleSS.jpg Portersville Steam Show summer event arrives

    The Portersville Steam Show will stage its summer event Thursday through Sunday at its show grounds.

     

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Veteran.jpg Veterans seminar to view technology

    A veterans benefits seminar has been set for Friday. The program will run from 2 to 4 p.m. in the commissioners room of the Lawrence County courthouse.

     
     

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Part-time guard position created

    The Lawrence County Salary Board created a part-time temporary court guard position Tuesday.

     

    July 30, 2014