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TCGH Emergency Department Offers Flu Season Tips


U.S. health officials expect a flare-up of the H1N1 influenza (swine flu) with the onset of seasonal flu season in October. The risk of becoming infected with both H1N1 and seasonal flu can be reduced through a combination of actions. No single action will provide complete protection, but an approach combining the following steps can help decrease the likelihood of transmission:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water OR use alcohol-based hand cleaner when soap and water are not available.
  • Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow OR cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, then discard the tissue and clean your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact (i.e. being within about 6 feet) with persons with influenza-like illness.

People who are sick with an influenza-like illness (fever, cough or sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches, chills, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea) should stay home and keep away from others as much as possible - including avoiding travel - for at least seven days after the onset of symptoms or 24 hours after the fever is gone, whichever is longer.

In order to prevent spreading the illness, people with mild symptoms should not go to the Emergency Department. Only those with shortness of breath, high fever or other serious or worsening symptoms should seek medical attention.

The Emergency Department at Tillamook County General Hospital has prepared an information sheet for the community about H1N1 Influenza that highlights where to get the most current information, what to do for symptoms, and what treatment may be offered at the Emergency Department.