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Protecting against coronavirus and flu

All of us are hearing about coronavirus in the news. Here at Community HealthCare System, our hospitals, clinics, and other facilities have procedures and supplies in place to protect our patients and staff if the need arises. We are also in close contact with authorities from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and we are following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. Although the risk of encountering coronavirus is currently low in our area, we are screening patients with influenza-like symptoms and asking where they have traveled recently as a precaution.

Right now, influenza is a much higher risk. We have seen many influenza cases in our clinics. So far this 2019-2020 flu season, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 19 million Americans have been infected with the flu, and 180,000 have been hospitalized. An estimated 10,000 people have died.

We do not share these statistics to alarm anyone, but rather to place scary news about the coronavirus in context. Kansas currently has no cases of coronavirus, but everyone in healthcare is remaining vigilant.

In the meantime, we hope our patients will protect themselves against influenza. The same protections against influenza will also protect against coronavirus. Here are a few things everyone can do to remain healthy during flu season or to avoid spreading the flu according to the Centers for Disease Control:

  • Get vaccinated each year
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Practice other good health habits such as drinking plenty of fluids, eating nutritious food, and getting plenty of sleep

If you are interested in more information about coronavirus, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is a good source. Visit the special page the agency has set up with frequently asked questions, fact sheets, and accurate background information about the coronavirus:


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