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GILBERT, Ariz. -- GilbertHospital is preparing for the upcoming flu season in anticipation of a busier than typical influenza epidemic. Training, extra precautions, robust cleaning and disinfecting of surface areas and the ability to call in additional staff as needed are part of the preparations being undertaken at GilbertHospital. Additionally, the hospital is offering flu shots for employees and may extend the shot coverage to employee family members, depending of the availability of this year's vaccine.
"Influenza can very well be extremely dangerous, especially for children under 2 and adults older than 65; complications that can arise from the flu result in more than 200,000 hospitalizations each year around the country and, even more astonishing, more than 36,000 people die each year due to direct association with the flu" explains Dr. Tim Johns, Gilbert Hospital’s medical director and founder.
GilbertHospital sees a significant increase in patient volume during the flu season, which begins in September and can run through late April or early May. "Even though we have more patients presenting with complications from the flu, we are prepared each year to meet the increased demand,” says Gilbert Hospital CEO David S. Wanger. “This year will be no different. We are preparing this year for even more patients so we are ensuring our staffing levels and treatment protocols are in place well in advance of the bug. Our Door to Doc in 31 Minutes guarantee will remain in place and we anticipate accomplishing that goal more than 98 percent of the time.”
The single most effective way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following preventive measures in order to help prevent respiratory illness such as the flu:
-- Avoid close contact when you are sick
-- Stay home when you are sick
-- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
-- Clean your hands
-- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.