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In This Issue:
BWH Community Immunity
BWH strongly recommends that all employees receive vaccinations for both seasonal flu and the novel H1N1 virus. In addition, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has specific requirements for all employees concerning the seasonal flu shot.
Occupational Health Services will offer seasonal flu vaccines to all employees. Annual TB screenings are available during all employee flu vaccine clinics.
“This is a very different flu season, and we need everyone’s help,” said Deborah Yokoe, MD, hospital epidemiologist. “We encourage all employees to get flu vaccines because it protects not only you, but also your family, our patients, their families, our visitors and our staff.”
Occupational Health offers seasonal flu shots to all employees throughout the distributed campus beginning Sept. 26. See page 4 for dates and times. This year, all employees are required by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to receive a seasonal flu vaccine by Dec. 15, except for employees who decline to do so and who sign a written statement to that effect. To accommodate this mandate, a new form will be added to Employee Self-Service in PeopleSoft. Stay tuned for details on when the form will be available.
The vaccine for novel H1N1 will be distributed as soon as it is available, which may be mid-to-late October.
“The number of cases of novel H1N1 is likely to increase as people settle back into their routines of work and school and travel, which increases opportunities for person-to-person contact,” said Richard Zane, MD, vice chair of Emergency Medicine. “Since this is a new influenza virus, most of us do not have immunity. We recommend everyone get the vaccine when it is available.”
Hand hygiene minimizes your risk of becoming infected and spreading the virus.
Symptoms are similar to normal seasonal flu and include fever, cough and sore throat.
If you have a fever, please stay at home.
Good respiratory etiquette includes covering your cough or sneeze, immediate hand cleaning and disposing of tissues.
Clean your hands immediately after coughing and/or sneezing (wash with soap and water, or an alcohol hand rub, e.g. Purell).
Use appropriate infection control practices during contact with anyone who shows symptoms.
Stay tuned to e-mail updates from BWH leadership with the latest details on seasonal and H1N1 vaccines. Visit BWHPikeNotes.org/Employee_Resources/Health_Safety/fluupdate/ for more information.