Influenza Facts

  • The influenza vaccination cannot cause the flu
  • Influenza is the sixth leading cause of death among U.S. adults
  • Each year, over 20,000 people are hospitalized with the flu and thousands die from flu complications
  • Influenza is a highly contagious disease that is spread by coughing, sneezing, direct physical contact and contact with objects that carry the virus (e.g., doorknobs, phones, etc.)
  • Symptoms of influenza include fever, cough, extreme fatigue, headache and body aches, sore throat and runny nose
  • You may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick
  • All persons 6 months or older should be vaccinated
  • By getting vaccinated, health care workers can protect their health, their families health and the health of patients

Proper Management of Flu-like Illness in Healthcare Personnel

Whether you received an influenza vaccination or not, if you develop respiratory symptoms and fever, you should not report to work, or if already at work, you should put on a face mask, promptly notify your supervisor of your illness and leave work. Flu-like illnesses should be reported to Employee Health. You should not return to work until at least 24 hours after fever resolves (without the use of fever-reducing medicines). Ongoing respiratory symptoms should be evaluated by Employee Health to determine appropriateness of contact with patients. If symptoms such as cough continue after return to work, you should wear a face mask during patient-care activities. Strict adherence to hand washing is essential.