It's that time of year again.
Sicknesses are going around and the contagiousness can cause others to fall ill as well. The culprit every year, it seems, is none other than the flu. This winter, health care facilities are limiting visitors in an effort to slow the spread of the sickness.
How do you know
if you have the flu?
With all the other illnesses out there during the winter time, determining if you have the flu or not may be tough.
Mary Bennett, an infection preventionist at Hannibal Regional Hospital, breaks it all down.
"The severity of the flu can vary. Most of the time with the flu, about half the time, you get fairly sudden, off-set of a fever. Fevers usually over 100, 101, 102, aching muscles in the back, arms and legs, chills and sweats," Bennett said.
She suggests taking immediate action to cure the flu once diagnosed.
"Stay in, try not to go out unless you absolutely have to," Bennett said. "Get some rest — get plenty of rest — be sure and get enough fluids because when you have a high fever you lose more fluids out of your body."
With many cases of the flu reported, a Hannibal nursing home and Hannibal Regional Hospital aren't taking any chances.
"When we started having so many people come down with the flu, then we immediately locked the facility down and didn't allow any visitors," Sharon Moore, the administrator at Luther Manor, said. "Right now, it's pretty much going through the building. The employees got it too. When we feel like everybody's well enough and that we're not going to send somebody off that's been in to visit, then we'll lift that (lockdown)."
Hannibal Regional Hospital has asked those who are experiencing flu-like symptoms to not visit the hospital so patients and employees can reduce their chances of falling ill.
How to beat the flu
Bennett said the best way to beat the sickness is to get the recommended flu shot, unless a medical reason prevents it. But keeping clean and keeping away from those with the flu also helps.
"Sometimes somebody in your household has the flu. Keep your distance, people should cover their cough with a tissue. Washing your hands is really important because the way flu is spread is through the droplets that come out of the mouth and the throat when someone has the flu," Bennett said. "You can get it from those droplets in two ways. If they land in your face on your mucus membrane, you get the flu, or if those land on surfaces and somebody touches that and touches their face, their eyes, their nose, their mouth."
So far this new year has been good to the Hannibal school district. While there are other illnesses going around, the flu is not impacting day-to-day operations
Page 2 of 2 - Assistant Superintendant Susan Johnson said teachers are keeping a supply of hand sanitizers and are watching closely to kids washing their hands thoroughly.
"Just like always, this time of year these type of things come about. What we do is try to make sure our custodial staff is being extra careful when they are cleaning our buildings, to make sure they sanitize and really sterilize our water fountains, our hardware on our sinks and things of that nature because we do know germs get passed around," Johnson said. "When things do come up, when children have fevers or not feeling well, our nurses are there ready to tend to those children, communicate with parents, getting those kids home."
Johnson reported Tuesday's attendance for the Hannibal School district was between 90 and 96 percent.