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2018-19 flu season update

2018-2019 Flu Season Update

Cynthia Chua, MD, OHC Medical Oncologist and Hematologist, Blogs, 0 comments
December 19, 2018


At OHC, we want to provide you with information to keep you as healthy and strong as possible throughout your cancer journey. The biggest concern is that cancer patients are at a higher risk of developing serious complications if they do get the flu. So if you have cancer and start experiencing symptoms like a fever, runny nose, sore throat or coughing — especially if you have a compromised immune system — see a doctor right away.

If you haven’t received a flu shot yet, please do so now. The CDC says an annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect against influenza and its potentially serious complications. If you are uncertain or have concerns, contact OHC at 1-888-649-4800 and we can help clear up any concerns you may have.

Here is the latest flu report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  1. While parts of the country are seeing elevated flu activity, overall activity nationally remains low. California, Georgia and Massachusetts reported widespread flu activity for the week ending Dec. 8.
  2. The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for flu remains low.
  3. Influenza A (H1N1) viruses have been the most commonly identified flu viruses since September 30, 2018.
  4. The CDC reported 544 laboratory-confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations from Oct. 1 through Dec. 8.
  5. One pediatric flu death was reported to CDC for the week ending Dec. 8. A total of six pediatric flu deaths have been reported for the 2018-19 season.

The Ohio Department of Health reports flu-related hospitalizations are lower than the five-year average for this week.

Here’s how you can prevent the flu:

  • CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza and its potentially serious complications.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • 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. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu.

OHC (Oncology Hematology Care) has been fighting cancer on the front lines for more than three decades. We are the region’s leading experts in the treatment of nearly every form of adult cancer and complex blood disorder. OHC offers the latest medical, gynecologic and radiation therapy, and is always seeking better treatment options through participation in clinical trials. OHC is certified by the American Society for Clinical Oncology in the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative Certification Program, is an accredited Oncology Medical Home, and is one of only 179 practices nationally to be accepted into the Medicare Oncology Initiative. At its heart, our approach to cancer care is simple – to surround you with everything you need so you can focus on what matters most: beating cancer. For more information about services and careers at OHC, call 1-888-649-4800 or visit ohcare.com.


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