Dr. Marci Drees, Chief Infection Prevention Officer at ChristianaCare discussed the coming Flu season – it’s all about prevention! Dr. Drees started with a discussion about flu – what it is – a viral infection – how it mutates each season from two predominate strains, how it spreads around the world during cold months, and how scientists predict the formula for each year’s vaccination. We discussed the symptoms of flu, a sudden onset, versus a cold where the symptoms build over several days. She noted that this makes quarantine difficult, you’re spreading the disease through conversation and sneezing before you show signs of it. She recommended hand washing, wiping surfaces – both with soap and/or alcohol based products – not anti-bacterial products and getting a flu shot. We talked abut flu mortality, 40 million caught it last year and between 36,400 and 61,200 Americans died from it, it’s especially dangerous for people with already compromised immune systems. We also mentioned the lost productivity – the flu can take you off work for a week and longer! Dr. Drees talked about ChristianaCare efforts through their #HitMeWithYourFluShot campaign, to get health care workers inoculated. She explained that getting the flu from a flu shot is a myth – you may have already been exposed or it may not even be the flu – and, even if protection is not 100%, it’s better than nothing and may weaken the flu you do catch. For more information about the flu – visit the US Center for Disease Control at CDC.gov.