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Taking precautions this flu season

Staff members at Baptist Hospital leave nothing to chance.
    From the moment someone walks in experiencing flu-like symptoms, doctors immediately place that person in a room that's away from everyone else.

"Since we come in contact with patients, we are the key people here, we are the key players here," said Dr. Michael Oleksyk with Baptist Health Care.

    Some of the things staff members do to protect themselves: wear masks when dealing with a patient with flu-like symptoms, wash and sanitize their hands often, and everyone who works at Baptist is encouraged to get the flu vaccine.

"For our employees if they have signs or symptoms, we tell them do not go to work, stay home,"  said Oleksyk.

    Dr. Oleksyk says there haven't been more cases of the flu this year, but  the cases he's seen are more severe, with H1N1 being the most common strain.
    More young, healthy people are being treated for the flu.

"By younger people I'm talking 30s, 40s, 50s who otherwise appear healthy. This is very unusual," he added.

    He says now is the time to get the flu shot.
    The vaccine takes about two weeks to start working.
    According to the Florida Department of Health, Escambia and Okaloosa counties are reporting moderate activity levels of the flu, while Santa Rosa county is reporting mild activity.
"I just wash my hands make sure everything in the house is sanitized and stuff like that," said Stacey Griffin.

"There's a specific reason why I can't get the flu shot medically, so unfortunately I don't get one, but my husband does and so do my children,"  said Deborah Boitnott.