Published on October 12, 2020

Tower Health Prepares for Arrival for Seasonal Influenza

Health System Encourages All Community Members to get Vaccinated Against Flu

West Reading, PA., October 12, 2020 - As Tower Health prepares for the annual arrival of seasonal influenza (flu) in our community, while still managing COVID-19, the health system is working to ensure it has all necessary resources in place to meet the community’s healthcare needs.

While COVID-19 is still in our communities Tower Health will not be hosting community flu vaccination clinics as in previous years. This year community members are encouraged to schedule an appointment with their primary care physician (PCP) or advance practice provider (APP) or visit any one of Tower Health Urgent Care 25 locations to receive the annual vaccine.

“A flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu,” said Debra Powell MD, Chief, Section of Infectious Diseases and Medical Director, Infection Prevention at Reading Hospital – Tower Health. “The vaccine can also help reduce risk for individuals most vulnerable to serious flu complications, including young babies, pregnant women, older adults, and those with compromised immune systems. It is important to remember that you may be able to pass the flu to someone else before you know you are sick. Healthy adults may be able to infect others a full day before their symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after becoming ill.”

To help prevent the spread of flu Tower Health recommends everyone perform frequent hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol hand sanitizer; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; wear a face mask; practice respiratory hygiene by covering your sneeze or cough when not face masked; disinfect high touch common areas frequently (phones, computers, tablets) and continue to practice social distancing.

Flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses that are caused by different viruses. The signs and symptoms of flu and COVID-19 can be similar including: 

  • Fever higher than 100°F
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue (very tired)
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache

COVID-19 can also cause non-flu-like symptoms, including loss of taste or smell. 

For additional information on symptoms of flu, COVID-19, and the cold visit towerhealth.org/flu.

Individuals showing symptoms of seasonal flu or COVID-19 should contact their PCP or APP to determine appropriate next steps for further evaluation. 

Dr. Powell is available for media interviews about seasonal influenza.

About Tower Health

Tower Health is a strong, regional, integrated healthcare provider/payer system that offers leading-edge, compassionate healthcare and wellness services to a population of 2.5 million people. With approximately 14,000 team members, Tower Health consists of Reading Hospital in West Reading; Brandywine Hospital in Coatesville; Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia; Jennersville Hospital in West Grove; Phoenixville Hospital in Phoenixville; Pottstown Hospital in Pottstown; and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, a partnership of Tower Health and Drexel University in Philadelphia. It also includes Reading Hospital Rehabilitation at Wyomissing; Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences in West Reading; home healthcare services provided by Tower Health at Home; and a network of 25 urgent care facilities across the Tower Health service area. Tower Health offers a connected network of 2,200 physicians, specialists, and providers across more than 230 convenient locations. For more information, visit towerhealth.org