The recent flu outbreak is being called one of the fastest moving and fiercest in a decade. The flu has hit 41 states from coast-to-coast and many are at epidemic levels – including Idaho.
In Spokane, we are far below the baseline for reported cases of flu. The Spokane Regional Health District says there have only been 12 hospitalizations due to the flu. But across the nation, the flu is hitting like a tidal wave.
More than 800 flu cases have been reported in Ohio, where last year there were only 65 cases. It's so bad in some parts of the country entire hospitals have closed to visitors.
While our region hasn't seen the brunt of the virus yet, it's better to start preventative measures now and there are a couple of ways : the flu vaccine and following the example set by Miss Tressa's class at St. Anne's Children and Family Center.
There, the kids wash their hands constantly and are taught how to properly cough into their elbow. They sing the ABC's while washing their hands to ensure they're doing it long enough. St. Anne's has to remain extra vigilant during the flu season.
“We do a lot of things here too to try to prevent it on a day-to-day basis, like sanitizing tables and trays where the children are eating and also having the children and staff wash their hands, wash their hands, wash their hands,” Director Lee Williams said.
They also encourage all employees and children there to get immunized, though it's not a requirement to work or use the daycare. The kids also sleep at least 30 inches apart and are positioned heat-to-feet so as to prevent them from coughing in each other's faces.
It all adds up since the flu virus can march through the doors at St. Anne's at any second.