Affinity Health System and ThedaCare Remind Public to Take Precautions to Ward Off Illness

Fox Valley experiencing high levels of communicable illnesses

Two Fox Valley health care providers, Affinity Health System and ThedaCare, are reminding the public to take sensible steps to help ward off illness. The Fox Valley is currently experiencing high levels of illness, including influenza, pneumonia and norovirus. 

"Both health systems are seeing a lot of patients at our hospitals and clinics, and we want to remind the public that there are simple steps to reduce the likelihood of catching the illnesses we are seeing," said Tom Veeser, chief nursing officer for Ministry Health Care, parent company of Affinity Health System, and vice president of patient care at St. Elizabeth Hospital.

The best way to prevent the spread of illness is to wash your hands often and thoroughly, receive the influenza vaccine if you haven't done so and stay home if you feel ill. 

"It's the classic time of year for people to get sick," said Miki Gould, infection preventionist with ThedaCare. "People spent a lot of time in close contact with friends and family during the holidays, which can help spread illnesses. We want everyone to stay healthy by following a few simple steps such as washing your hands and limiting your contact with others who may be ill. This means staying home from work or school when you're experiencing symptoms." 

People who have symptoms such as a fever, cough, vomiting and/or diarrhea should stay home and call their doctor. Affinity patients are able to call Affinity NurseDirect at 1 (800) 362-9900; ThedaCare patients are able to call ThedaCare On Call at 1 (800) 236-2236.  

More information on these illnesses can be found here:

Pneumonia http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Pneumonia/
Influenza http://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm
Norovirus http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Norovirus/

ThedaCareTM is a community health system consisting of five hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, New London Family Medical Center, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, ThedaCare At Work and ThedaCare At Home. ThedaCare is the largest employer in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.