Safety

This is a Heavy Cold and Flu Season—Your Sutter Care Team is Ready to Help

Posted on Mar 2, 2020 in Safety, Scroll Images

You may be feeling worried about the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19. Given the widespread media attention of this illness, that is understandable. Many of us and our loved ones have runny noses, coughs and sneezes these days. Almost everyone with these symptoms will ultimately have the flu, a cold, or even bad allergies. Below are some things you can do to minimize your exposure and prevent the spread of these illnesses, including COVID-19.

• Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. This is one of the best ways your caregivers protect themselves from the spread of germs—it will help protect you, too! Remember to clean the ‘webs’ between fingers and thumbs.
• Don’t have access to soap and water? Use hand sanitizers.
• Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes or nose, with your hands.
• When you or your loved ones are sick—stay home from work and school to prevent infecting others.
• Sneezing into tissues or your elbow are great ways to minimize spread of germs. Always wash your hands with soap and water after you sneeze.
• Unless you are in the healthcare profession or caring for an ill family member or friend, always try to avoid others who are sick.

If you do feel ill, you can contact your care center or clinician to discuss the most appropriate treatment option. You can also visit https://www.sutterhealth.org/ for more information.

For more information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC’s website.

Sutter Infectious Disease Expert: What You Need to Know about Coronavirus

Posted on Jan 22, 2020 in Safety, Scroll Images

Jeffrey Silvers, M.D., is the medical director of Infectious Disease for Sutter Health

What do people need to know about the Wuhan, China coronavirus?

Coronaviruses typically cause mild symptoms like those associated with the common cold. However, a new (or novel) strain of coronavirus, first reported in Wuhan, China, has caused some people to develop much more serious illness, including pneumonia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is monitoring the outbreak caused by the new coronavirus. At present, this new strain of coronavirus infection is only being found in people who have recently visited Wuhan, China or who have had close contact with someone who developed the disease from exposure to it there.

Jeffrey Silvers, M.D.

What are the symptoms?

The new coronavirus infection symptoms are similar to the flu – fever, aching, and cough, with shortness of breath in more severe cases. At this time, a history of recent travel to Wuhan or close contact with someone who became sick after traveling there is also an important risk factor.

How can people protect themselves?

• Wash your hands! Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
• Cover your cough. If you cough, cover it and avoid allowing others to cough on you.
• If you haven’t already had a flu shot, get one now—there is still time. Getting the influenza vaccine will minimize your risk of getting the flu. Flu symptoms may appear similar to a coronavirus infection and in turn cause unnecessary concern.

What should I do if I think I might have coronavirus?

• Don’t panic. The flu or another respiratory virus is still the most likely cause.
• Contact your local public health department or your doctor for advice.
• If you feel sick enough to go to an emergency department, call ahead to alert the staff that you are coming and tell them that you are concerned you might have the new coronavirus. If you decide to go to the emergency department, request a mask be brought out to you before you enter the hospital, to reduce the risk of exposing others.

How is Sutter protecting patients and caregivers?

At Sutter, our number one priority is the safety of our patients, our staff and our clinicians. We are working closely with local public health departments to coordinate efforts to properly identify and evaluate patients who may have contracted the new coronavirus. We are keeping our staff and affiliated physicians throughout our integrated network informed about the new coronavirus and associated health department and CDC guidance.

Where can I learn more?

For additional information, please visit the coronavirus-specific webpages offered by the CDC and the California Department of Public Health.