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Flu

COLD & FLU SEASON

Your care team at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center wants to do everything possible to limit your exposure to infection during cold and flu season, which begins in early fall and lasts until spring.

People with certain chronic health conditions, including cancer, have a higher risk of becoming ill with the flu. A vaccination is the best way to prevent the virus from infecting you. Your care team recommends protecting yourself with a flu shot, which can be obtained from most doctors’ offices or local pharmacies. Please encourage your family members and close friends to get the flu vaccine, as well.

GENERAL TIPS FOR STAYING HEALTHY AND PREVENTING FLU

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after contact with door handles, shared keyboards, and elevator buttons. You can also use alcohol-based hand sanitizers in between visits to the restroom.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who have a contagious illness such as a cold or flu.
  • If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care. Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making them sick.
  • If you think you or your child may have the flu, call your primary care doctor or oncologist for advice.

VISITING MARY BIRD PERKINS CANCER CENTER

  • If you (or your child) have a fever and a cough, sore throat or runny nose, please stay home.
  • If you must come in, please inform the check-in desk staff that you are ill and need a surgical mask and private room.
  • If a family member or friend who planned to accompany you is feeling ill, please ask them to stay home. If your companion must come along, they should inform the check-in desk staff and ask for a surgical mask.
  • While you are visiting the Cancer Center, you may see some staff members wearing surgical masks. This is to provide extra protection against the flu.

If you are ill and are unsure about whether to visit the Cancer Center, please call the location you plan to visit: