Palmer, Alaska, March 26, 2018 – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this year’s flu season has hit its peak, and is in a steady decline – finally. After one of the worst flu seasons of the past decade, Mat-Su Regional Medical Center has resumed normal visiting hours and guidance.

"We are confident that the worst of a tough flu season is over and we are encouraging patients who may have put off care to make sure they get back on track,” says Samuel Inouye, M.D., Emergency Medicine.

According to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, here in the Mat-Su Borough the flu rate has been falling over the past few weeks. The consistent decline in cases follows a season where influenza impacted local schools, workplaces and hospital emergency rooms.

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Flu season can also cause some people – especially the elderly – to postpone care for chronic or elective health issues, either due to cases of the flu itself, or out of a fear of contact with flu in public spaces.

"Taking precautions is the best possible way to avoid catching any virus,” adds Dr. Inouye. “Get the flu shot early in the season, take proactive hand-washing and hygiene steps, and increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. But don’t put off important care of chronic conditions, or allow an emerging condition to worsen by waiting out the season. Healthcare facilities take aggressive measures to prevent the spread of viruses – likely more so than any other public space.”

This year’s flu season was a good reminder of the importance of getting vaccinated and building immunity early and over time. According to the CDC, it’s not too late to get your flu shot this year. If you need a flu shot, or assistance with a plan for building your general health and immune system, call your primary care physician and develop a personal and comprehensive wellness plan that will support you throughout the year. If you need a primary care physician, call 907-861-6000 or visit MatSuRegional.com for help finding a physician.

About Mat-Su Regional Medical Center

Mat-Su Regional Medical Center is a 74-bed healthcare facility providing advanced surgical service, including robotics, cardiac care, intensive and general medical care, emergency services, the state’s only epilepsy monitoring program, diagnostic imaging, a sleep lab, an urgent care center and is home to the Family Birthing Center.

The hospital has earned the Joint Commission’s Top Performer for Key Quality Measures award for three consecutive years, being recognized for excellence in heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, immunizations and surgical care. Mat-Su Regional is also a Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care, recognizing its expertise in delivering safe and cost-effective maternity care.

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