Help prevent spread of flu illness

In the past week, Riverwood Healthcare Center has seen a surge in patients coming into its clinics, emergency department and hospital for respiratory infections and influenza-like illness. Influenza and norovirus transmission is expected to increase as people gather to celebrate the holiday season.

On Dec. 16, Riverwood posted hospital visitor restrictions and encourages local residents to NOT visit hospitalized patients if they have: 1) flu-like symptoms of a fever, cough or sore throat, vomiting or diarrhea; 2) a sick family member; or 3) recently been in contact with someone with flu-like symptoms.

Those being treated for a respiratory illness or have flu-like-symptoms should:

  • Obtain a mask at a Riverwood clinic or the hospital reception desk and wear it until you leave the facility.
  • If not using a mask, cough or sneeze into your sleeve or a disposable tissue and use the antimicrobial hand sanitizer available in the lobbies.
  • Sit at least 6 feet away from others to avoid exposing them.

Not all patients who are examined will receive an antiviral medication for influenza—only those who are 65 years or older, under 2 years, or have a high-risk medical condition. Antibiotics are not helpful for treating a viral infection and may lead to more serious problems due to antibiotic-resistant infections.

The Minnesota Department of Health recommends staying at home and using a flu and cold care kit to prevent transmitting influenza to other people.

If you have not already received yours this season, it is not too late to get the influenza vaccine. To schedule a flu shot nurse appointment, call Riverwood clinic’s appointment line at (218) 927-2157 or toll-free at (888) 270-1882.