Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cold and Flu Prevention

It appears that the recent seasonal influenza outbreak has peeked, however that does not mean the risk is over.

Germs travel fast during February. The cold weather generates colds and the flu in countless individuals we encounter on a daily basis. Talk with colleagues, staff members, students, family members, and/or friends about collaborative actions to keep work, school, and home environments germ free. Emphasizing the importance of washing your hands and keeping floors and hand rails clean are vital ways to prevent the spread of germs.

To keep your family healthy and safe this flu season, it's important to know all you can about the flu. As Grandma (and Ben Franklin) used to say an ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The seasonal flu viruses are transmitted through tiny amounts of mucus released when you talk, sneeze or cough. You can prevent the spread of both flu viruses by developing these healthy habits:
  • Wash your hands. Several times a day, wash your hands with soap and water, especially before eating. If you don't have sink access, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your cough. If you feel the urge to cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with a tissue and then throw the tissue away. If you don't have a tissue andy, cough into your elbow.
  • Stay home. If you get sick, plan on staying home for four days, or until the fever has been gone for 24 hours without the aid of fever-reducing medication.
  • Get vaccinated. "Vaccination is the best way to prevent seasonal flu." To find flu vaccination clinics near you, contact your local or state health department.
More information is available from the Center for Disease Control.


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