Will the Flu Affect Your Next Travel Assignment?
As of the New Year, the nation is experiencing an overall increase in flu activity, with some areas hit harder than others. The CDC confirmed that North Carolina has the highest level of influenza. Other states (Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire) show high levels of regional influenza activity. The CDC also states several smaller areas with higher levels of flu reports in Connecticut, Arizona, Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, Kentucky, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Oregon, and Utah.
Locating work in these places may mean finding the cities and towns with the highest flu activity. It’s worth pointing out that the District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Mississippi have reported no cases of the flu. Walgreens conducted its own study and came up with different findings than the CDC. The company compared the amount of flu medication sales by state, and found that Nevada is the state with the most cases of the flu. According to Walgreens, the nine additional states that make up the top ten highest flu activity areas are: Louisiana, Arizona, Florida, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Texas, and Oklahoma.
What Does This Mean for Traveling Care Providers?
There’s plenty of work available during this flu season. However, it also means care providers need to take extra precautions to stay healthy. Getting a flu shot is an effective way to do this. Recommending this booster to patients is a good idea, too. Even if they’ve already been hit with the flu, it makes sense to get the shot; flu season lasts well into springtime.
Washing your hands frequently, especially before and after working with a patient, remains the best way to avoid getting sick. Covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing also helps. Frequently disinfecting telephones, doorknobs, and other shared items is also an important way to combat viruses.