I’m very familiar with the symptoms of the flu, and I stay home when I am sick.So, there is very little chance that I would infect my co-workers or patients. The signs and symptoms of the flu may not appear for a day or two after you contract influenza, during which time you could unknowingly infect patients and co-workers.You can always seek treatment for the flu, but in the meantime you may have already passed on the virus to patients and co-workers because viral shedding may occur up to two to three days prior to symptom initiation.
They can serve as a vehicle to transmit influenza even when they don’t have symptoms.
Up to 25 percent of health care personnel with the flu may have minimal or no symptoms yet can still transmit infection.
Research shows that influenza vaccination of health care personnel decreases patient mortality by 40 to 50 percent, risk of nosocomial infection by 43 percent and absenteeism by 20 to 30 percent while limiting the risk of bringing illness acquired at work home to family members. Our highest priority must be to protect our patients, many of whom are exceptionally vulnerable to adverse outcomes from the flu. Fifteen states have legislation requiring that health care workers be immunized in certain circumstances.
The research clearly shows that flu vaccinations vastly increase mass immunity and protect immune-suppressed patients. D., secretary of Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, says the years when there have been flu outbreaks in Baltimore City are correlated directly to low vaccination rates (as low as 30 percent) in health care workers. Maryland law currently requires proof of immunity for other communicable diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella for acute health care workers.
It takes about two weeks to develop protection after receiving the vaccine.
Check with your local Occupational Health for information about flu vaccination, including locations and times.
These strains usually change each year, which is why the vaccine is given annually.
Even if you get the flu from a strain of the virus that wasn’t included in the vaccine, having the vaccine can make your illness milder.
Some people mistakenly confuse flu symptoms with the vaccine side effects, such as a minor fever.
What is the live attenuated vaccine and are there individuals who should not receive it?
In Maryland alone, 36 hospitals have already adopted a mandatory influenza vaccination policy, with four more planning to implement this season. All Johns Hopkins Medicine entities have adopted a mandatory vaccination policy. The mandatory influenza vaccination program applies to all individuals, employees, faculty, staff, residents and fellows, temporary workers, trainees, volunteers, students, vendors and voluntary medical staff, regardless of employer, who provide services to patients or work in patient care or clinical care areas, including acute and chronic care hospitals, outpatient facilities and clinics.