Flu Prevention Strategies
To keep yourself healthy and slow the spread of the influenza virus, avoid getting exposed to the virus. At Northwestern Medicine, here are some of the steps we take:
- Vaccination: We offer the seasonal influenza vaccine to all employees at no cost and more than 99% of our employees are able to take the vaccine each year.
- Healthcare kiosks: Kiosks set up across our hospitals include masks, sanitizing wipes and tissues for anyone to use. These help reduce the spread of viral and bacterial infections, including influenza, COVID-19, and even the common cold.
- Education: We teach patients, visitors, staff and communities about the importance of preventing and limiting the spread of influenza.
- Care in a protected environment: We have safety policies in place for visitors and healthcare workers who interact with any patient with flu-like symptoms.
- Clean hands: We provide signage and other reminders for all healthcare workers and visitors to clean their hands often, and always when entering and leaving any patient's room. We have hand sanitizer stations located in patient rooms and throughout our facilities.
- Visitor policy: We ask all visitors to avoid coming to the hospital if they do not feel well. To protect patients and staff during times when illness is spreading quickly in the community, we screen and/or limit visitors.
- Staff policy: Employees who interact with patients and become ill with the flu must stay home from work for 7 days or until they have been fever-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer.