Southcoast is asking visitors to refrain from visiting the hospital if they are sick.
If you must come to the hospital while you are sick, you will be asked to wear a mask, which will be provided at no charge at each of the main entrances and Emergency Department entrances.
It's flu season again. And time to protect yourself and your family. Here are some simple, basic steps you can take to help stop the flu before it starts.
- Wash your hands. This is the most powerful thing you can do to prevent H1N1 or other infections. Make sure to wash regularly especially before eating, after touching the handles of grocery carts, or before and after visiting someone in the hospital. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you can't get to a sink.
- Practice good hygiene at the gym. Clean weights, exercise mats and equipment with antibacterial wipes before and after you use them. If someone in your family plays a sport like hockey or football that requires protective equipment, be sure they clean it with antibacterial wipes after every use. It's important not to share personal equipment.
- Cover your mouth and nose if you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or even the bend in your elbow to prevent spreading germs to others. Make sure to wash your hands afterwards.
- Keep all cuts, scratches and wounds clean and protected with a clean, dry bandage. Don't "let it breathe" unless your doctor tells you differently. If cuts are not healing, see a doctor.
- The flu is viral so it can't be treated with antibiotics. However bacterial infections — like strep or pneumonia — can be treated with antibiotics. When your doctor prescribes antibiotics, be sure to take the full prescription. Stopping in the middle may allow the infection to return even stronger.
- If you are sick, avoid close contact with others. When you are sick, stay home from work or school, avoid public transportation and other places where there are crowds. Avoid shaking hands or touching others. That way other people won't get sick, and you'll get better faster.
Faces of Influenza
The Faces of Influenza portrait gallery features portraits of many famous and not-so-famous Americans. These "faces" — including national spokesperson, Olympic Gold Medalist, most recent winner of "Dancing with the Stars" and mother Kristi Yamaguchi — are committed to encouraging Americans to get their flu shots and help prevent the spread of influenza.
You will likely recognize yourself, and your family, friends, and co-workers among the many "faces" of influenza. We urge you to learn more about vaccination, which is the best protection against the influenza virus.