Influenza Information Center
Hospital Visitation Policy
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Effective Monday, December 23, 2013, Crozer-Keystone requires that only friends and family 14 years or older may visit patients in our hospitals. This policy will be in effect for the duration of the influenza (flu) season at all Crozer-Keystone hospitals.
The policy has been changed to help prevent the spread of the flu and protect our patients, their family members and our health care providers. This policy follows the recommendations of the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council as well as the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Visitors who have symptoms of the flu or a cold - such as sniffles, sneezing, aches, fever or cough - should not visit patients or enter the hospital.
- Visitors should wash their hands frequently with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Visitors should cover their mouths and noses with a tissue when they cough or sneeze. If they do not have a tissue, visitors are asked to cough or sneeze in their upper sleeves, not their hands.
In certain circumstances, visitors may be asked to wear a mask to prevent the spread of the flu.
CKHS Community Flu Immunization Hotline
Call 610-447-2050. We provide weekly updates on dates, times and locations of flu and pneumonia vaccines being given in the community.
Flu Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention
To learn more about the symptoms, treatment and prevention of the flu, click the text in the shaded areas below, or view the video.
Flu symptoms are similar to the common cold, but are more intense; they include:
- Fever, or feeling feverish
- Cough - usually non productive
- Sore throat
- Body aches
- Runny or stuffy nose
When to Seek Medical Treatment
If you are concerned that you may have the flu, you can contact your doctor to discuss potential treatment options. Your doctor is always available to answer your questions or to see you in the office if needed. Those listed below are at increased risk from influenza or its complications and should contact their doctor if they believe they have the flu:
- If you have chronic medical conditions such as Diabetes, Asthma, Emphysema (COPD), Coronary Artery Disease, End Stage Kidney Disease, or are receiving treatment for cancer or are on immunosuppressive medications.
- If you are in the above groups and you have had significant exposure to someone you know has the flu.
- If you are age 65 or older.
- If your child is younger than five.
- If you are pregnant.
- If you are obese.
The following symptoms should prompt you to call your doctor:
- If your symptoms improve and then get worse.
- If your cough lingers and becomes productive.
- If you experience shortness of breath.
- If you experience dizziness or light headedness.
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health also offers useful information on when to seek medical help. (Download PDF)
Medical Treatment: From Physicians and at Home
Your doctor may choose to treat you with an antiviral medication. The antiviral medication may reduce the duration of the flu and decrease the incidence of potential complications. The medication is most effective when given within two days of developing the flu. As the flu is usually self-limited (will resolve without medication in 5-7 days), not everyone chooses to use the medication.
Home Treatment of the Flu
Stay home if you have the flu until your symptoms have mostly resolved. Avoid spreading the virus to others.
- Create a “sick room” in your house to limit the spread of the virus to others in your family.
- Rest and drink lots of fluids.
- Hot tea and soup can ease your sore throat.
- For fever, sponge your body with lukewarm water - not cold water or ice.
- To help with a stuffy nose, breathing in warm mist from a shower or sink filled with hot water is helpful.
- Use cough drops or lozenges to help with cough and sore throat.
- Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke.
- If you are on prescription medicines or have a chronic medical condition, please consult your doctor prior to using the over the counter preparations below. Try to target the symptoms that are bothering you rather than using a multi-symptom over the counter preparation, as they often contain antihistamines and alcohol, which are not helpful for the flu.
- Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen can be used for fever and body aches. Do not use aspirin for anyone under age 20.
- Decongestants or nasal sprays can be used as directed for nasal congestion.
- For thick secretions, guaifenesin can be helpful.
- For a dry cough, dextromethorphan can be helpful.
Prevention, Tips When a Family Member Has the Flu
Q & A's