DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With the latest update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing influenza near epidemic proportions in 43 states, Concentra, a subsidiary of Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), is urging those at medical risk of complications to take steps to protect against the spread of the disease.
Hospitalizations for flu-related illness have more than doubled this year from the same time last year, according to the CDC. Seasonal influenza, commonly known as the flu, is an extremely contagious respiratory infection and often includes symptoms such as high fever, cough and full body aches. However, flu symptoms can intensify and become more severe than those of a common cold. The CDC estimates that from the 1976-1977 season to the 2006-2007 flu season, flu-associated deaths ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people.
Even though the CDC acknowledges the current flu vaccine is not a perfect match for the currently circulating virus types - making the flu shots less effective - health officials like Concentra’s Senior Vice President of Medical Operations Bill Lewis, M.D., are urging high risk individuals who have not received the influenza vaccine to go ahead and do so.
“In those years where the match is not ideal, the benefit becomes reducing the severity of illness and complications when people are exposed to the virus,” said Dr. Lewis. “Get the shot – it’s not too late.”
Concentra provides treatment for a wide range of injuries and illnesses, including seasonal influenza and allergies, minor burns, upset stomachs, and many other common conditions. With over 300 locations across the nation, Concentra Urgent Care offers affordable health care services for the entire family, and is rapidly becoming the new trend in patient care. Seasonal flu vaccines are available at all Concentra locations across the country.
High-risk patients, including those with chronic illnesses, like asthma and diabetes, infants and toddlers, pregnant women, and adults over 65, should make it a priority to be vaccinated. These individuals are at increased risk for flu complications leading to hospitalization or death. Dr. Lewis encourages individuals to take these additional preventive measures to lower their probability of getting the flu and spreading it to others:
- Monitor flu outbreaks in your community. Check Google Flu Trends and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for weekly updates.
- Take preventive actions daily. Frequent hand-washing is an easy way to avoid getting sick and spreading germs. In addition, thorough hand-washing is recommended before preparing food, after using the bathroom, and after sneezing or coughing.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Put used tissues in a waste basket. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
- Wash hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Clean, clean, clean. Try a sanitizing wipe on high-use areas such as desks, doorknobs, keyboards and, at work, the coffee pot.
- Stay home if you are ill.
- Keep your distance from those who are ill. Approximately six feet is sufficient, according to the CDC.
- See a physician. Concentra is one destination for flu prevention, and treatment for flu symptoms. Flu shots are currently available, with no appointment necessary, at all locations.
Concentra, a subsidiary of health and well-being company Humana Inc., is a leading health care company focused on improving America’s health, one patient at a time. Through its affiliated clinicians, the company provides occupational medicine, urgent care, primary care, physical therapy, and wellness services from more than 300 medical centers in 40 states. In addition to these medical center locations, Concentra serves employers by providing a broad range of health advisory services and operating more than 170 workplace clinics. Through this complement of services, Concentra intends to raise the standard of health by putting individuals first, treating them with clinical excellence, and focusing on their ongoing wellness. www.Concentra.com
Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Ky., is a leading health and well-being company focused on making it easy for people to achieve their best health with clinical excellence through coordinated care. The company’s strategy integrates care delivery, the member experience, and clinical and consumer insights to encourage engagement, behavior change, proactive clinical outreach and wellness for the millions of people we serve across the country.
More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:
- Annual reports to stockholders
- Securities and Exchange Commission filings
- Most recent investor conference presentations
- Quarterly earnings news releases
- Replays of most recent earnings release conference calls
- Calendar of events (including upcoming earnings conference call dates and times, as well as planned interaction with research analysts and institutional investors)
- Corporate Governance information