There are two main types of influenza (flu) virus: Types A and B. Influenza A and B viruses are responsible for seasonal flu epidemics each year. Influenza A virus can be broken down into subtypes. The current subtypes of influenza A are (H1N1) and A (H3N2). Over the course of a flu season, different types (A & B) and subtypes of influenza A viruses can circulate and cause illness.
CHI St. Luke's Health Brazosport is taking precautions against this year’s flu season and is committed to its role of helping the community during any flu outbreak that may occur. We encourage our community to stay informed and protect yourself and your family as the flu continues to spread.
CHI St. Luke's Health Brazosport has worked with local first responders and the community for several years to improve the health system’s emergency and disaster preparedness, and we are well-prepared for a rapid hospital response in the event of an epidemic in our area.
Our team is working closely with state and local health departments in sharing information on any flu activity. To help educate the communities we serve, CHI St. Luke's Health Brazosport has established these pages with helpful information for visitors on protecting themselves from catching the flu, preventing the spread of flu and much more!
How does flu spread?
Any type of flu is thought to spread mostly from person to person through the coughs and sneezes of people who are sick with influenza. People also may get sick by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.
Protecting Yourself from the Flu
- Avoid hugging, kissing, shaking hands with anyone who has a cold or the flu
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for about 15-20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers, especially after coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes
- Clean things that are touched often like door handles and telephone receivers
- If you get sick with a flu-like illness, stay home from work and school and avoid contact with others so the virus does not spread
- Cover your mouth and nose with tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Dispose of used tissue in the waste basket after use
- Get both the seasonal flu and the H1N1 flu vaccine when they become available.
- Contact your primary healthcare provider for treatment and vaccination information. You may also check back regularly for vaccine updates at CHI St. Luke's Health Brazosport or call our flu information line at 979-285-1585.
Get Ready for the Flu
If you do not prepare before a flu outbreak, it may be harder for you to follow important health advice. Be prepared in case you get sick and need to stay home for a week or so. It’s extremely important for a person with flu-like symptoms to stay home.
Have a two-week supply of items needed for an extended stay at home. It would be useful to have these items on hand and would help avoid the need to make trips out in public while you are sick and contagious. Two-week supply list includes:
- Over-the-counter medicines
- Alcohol-based hand cleaners (however hand washing is more effective)
- Prescription medications that are taken regularly
- Canned soups, hydration fluids, etc.
- Facemasks (for use by the sick person if able when around other people)
*If you are in the hospital with flu-like symptoms, we ask for a mask to be worn. Please contact a volunteer or hospital employee on duty to receive a mask.
Our goal is to protect the health and safety of our patients, visitors and staff. To remain consistent with community standards and avoid unnecessary risk, we encourage you to read about the different type of flu viruses and be informed and educated about the matter at hand. For the latest updates from CHI St. Luke's Health Brazosport’s team of specialists, please check back regularly under the “news” section. You may also call the flu information line anytime at 979-285-1585. To receive more information about the Swine Flu, please visit the listed sites.
Seasonal Flu Information
Millions of people in the United States – about 5% to 20% of U.S. residents – will get the flu each year. An average of about 36,000 people per year in the Unites States die from flu-related causes, and more than 200,000 have to be admitted to the hospital as a result of flu-related causes. For that reason, it’s extremely important to get a seasonal flu vaccine. In addition, you should take precautions to protect yourself from the flu:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, Centers for Disease Control recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care.
- While sick, limit contact with others to keep from infecting them
Signs and Symptoms of Seasonal Flu
- Fever (usually high)
- Extreme tiredness
- Dry cough
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Sometimes diarrhea
The Flu is Contagious
Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 days after becoming sick. Children may pass the virus for longer than seven days. Symptoms start one to four days after the virus enters the body. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Some persons can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms.
Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor recommends them
- If you you do get the flu, antiviral drugs are an important treatment option. (They are not a substitute for vaccination.)
- Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaler) that fight the flu by keeping viruses from reproducing in your body.
- Antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications.
For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms).
Seasonal Flu Vaccines
CHI St. Luke's Health Brazosport is gearing up for their annual FREE flu shot immunization clinics for southern Brazoria County. Each year, approximately 5%-20% of U.S. residents contract the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized. An annual flu shot is the best way to reduce the chances of acquiring the virus.
This Fall, CHI St. Luke's Health Brazosport will offer two flu immunizations days. The immunizations will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis and all participants must be 18 years of age or older. There will be a limited amount of vaccine; therefore, arriving during scheduled hours does not guarantee availability of the vaccine. The first flu shot clinic will be:
Although everyone is welcome, people at high risk are priority. High risk people include:
- Any adult 65 years or older
- Health care workers
- Adults with chronic or immunocompromised conditions
- Pregnant women. Pregnant women must have a written note from their obstetrician to receive a flu shot.
Influenza (flu) is a respiratory illness with symptoms like high fever, chills, dry cough, headache, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, fatigue, and muscle aches. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine which protects you from getting sick or can make your illness milder. If you think you have the flu, tell your supervisor and stay home, except to get medical care.