Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Flu Season is in Full Swing. Protect Yourself.

At Fauquier Hospital, our mission is Making Communities Healthier. One way we do this is by engaging our communities and educating people about how they can maintain good health. Since flu season is in full swing, we want to help our community stay healthy and prevent the spread of this often debilitating illness. Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself from the flu, prevent it from spreading and speed up recovery, should you get sick. 

First, get vaccinated. This is the best form of protection against the virus. While it is still possible to contract the flu after receiving a vaccination, it is much less likely. Furthermore, studies have shown that flu vaccinations can make your illness milder if you do get sick. This year, the CDC recommends that all individuals get the flu shot – not the nasal spray vaccination. 
Other important preventative measures you can take include:
  • Washing your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol-based.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoiding sharing food, cups or eating utensils.
  • Disinfecting your home and belongings, such as door knobs, light switches, children’s toys and play areas.
  • Staying home from school or work if you are sick to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a tissue, your sleeve or elbow, and NOT your bare hands.
  • Calling your local hospital or your primary care doctor with any questions.

Fauquier Health also is taking the appropriate steps at our facility to prevent the flu from spreading. We are doing this by:
  • Providing masks to all visitors and patients experiencing flu-like symptoms.
  • Setting up stations throughout the facility stocked with tissues and alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Encouraging all patients, staff and visitors to get their flu shot if they have not already done so. Limiting visitation hours to help limit the spread of infection. See details here.
If you or a loved one begins to notice symptoms including coughing, sore throat, fever or upper respiratory symptoms, please see your doctor right away. Early detection is especially important for young children, elderly populations, pregnant women and people with certain chronic health issues. When detected early, prescription antiviral drugs can often help treat the illness and shorten the time you are sick by one or two days.

In addition, limit contact with others as much as possible immediately after noticing symptoms. Stay home (or keep your child home) for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone, except to seek medical care or for other necessities. 

During flu season and year-round, Fauquier Hospital is here to help with your healthcare needs. If you have any questions or concerns about this year’s flu season, our dedicated staff can help. Simply call 540-316-3588.

For additional information about influenza, visit or contact the Public Health Department.

Be Smart. Love Your Heart.

Your heart is one of the hardest working muscles you’ve got. It ticks around the clock to keep you alive and only gets a break when you’re relaxing or sleeping. With so much riding on this essential muscle, it’s important to treat it smart. According to the American Heart Association, one in four people die of heart disease every year. And it’s not playing favorites – heart disease is the number one killer of men and women. In fact, more women die of heart disease than from most cancers combined.

At Fauquier Health, we care about your heart health. (See Healthy Happenings-- in mailboxes and in Warrenton Lifestyle magazine March  -- for a complete rundown of cardiac services at Fauquier Health.) 

And with this February marking American Heart Month, there’s no better time to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to keep your heart healthy for the long run. Preventing heart disease means making smart choices today that can pay off for the rest of your life. Anyone – at any age – can benefit from these simple steps:

Eat a healthy diet.
Eating a diet of lower-calorie, nutrient-rich foods can help you control your weight, cholesterol levels and blood pressure, which helps lower your risk of heart disease. Fill your plate with fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, skinless poultry and fish, and nuts and legumes; and limit your intake of foods with saturated fat, trans fats, sodium, sugar and red meat. If you do choose to eat red meat, make sure you’re using the leanest cut you can find.

Stay physically active.
Your activity level is actually your greatest potential risk factor. Low fitness levels come with double the risk of heart disease. The good news is that your heart benefits from every type of activity. Try to complete at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, 75 minutes of vigorous activity, or a combination of the two, every week. Most importantly, just keep moving!

Know your numbers.
A big part of staying on top of your heart health is being aware of your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and working to keep them at low-risk levels. Be sure to get your levels checked regularly, and talk to your primary care doctor about your numbers and how to keep them within a healthy range. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, call 540-316-3588 and we’ll get you connected to one.

When you act early and make good heart health a priority, you can help reduce your risk for heart disease. Plus, you’ll be in a better position to catch any potential issues and work together with your doctor to keep your heart healthy for the long run.

How healthy is your heart? Call 540-316-3588 today to find a heart doctor or make an appointment to check up on your heart healthy numbers. Remember, you get one heart. Treat it smart.