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Healthy Habits to Help Prevent Flu

Since Jimmy is down with the plague this week, it seems like a good time to go over some ways to prevent the flu. Coronavirus aside, this year’s regular flu is nasty and appears to be spreading like wildfire. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “the single best way to prevent seasonal flu

Since Jimmy is down with the plague this week, it seems like a good time to go over some ways to prevent the flu. Coronavirus aside, this year’s regular flu is nasty and appears to be spreading like wildfire.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “the single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu.”

What follows are the best tips and guidelines offered by the CDC.

Get Vaccinated

The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the flu viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. There are several flu vaccine options this flu season. Seriously people. Get your flu vaccine.
Avoid close contact.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
Stay home when you are sick.

If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
Cover your mouth and nose.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.

Clean your hands.

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
Practice other good health habits.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
Preventing Flu at Work and School

At School

Find out about plans your child’s school, childcare program, or college has if an outbreak of flu or another illness occurs and whether flu vaccinations are offered on-site.

Make sure your child’s school, childcare program, or college routinely cleans frequently touched objects and surfaces, and that they have a good supply of tissues, soap, paper towels, alcohol-based hand rubs, and disposable wipes on-site.

Ask how sick students and staff are separated from others and who will care for them until they can go home.

At Work

Find out about your employer’s plans if an outbreak of flu or another illness occurs and whether flu vaccinations are offered on-site.

Routinely clean frequently touched objects and surfaces, including doorknobs, keyboards, and phones, to help remove germs.

Make sure your workplace has an adequate supply of tissues, soap, paper towels, alcohol-based hand rubs, and disposable wipes.

Train others on how to do your job so they can cover for you in case you or a family member gets sick and you have to stay home.

If you begin to feel sick while at work, go home as soon as possible.

Even if you take every precaution, you may still end up sick or with the flu. So…
What should I do if I get sick?

Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.

If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a high-risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider (doctor, physician assistant, etc.).

Certain people are at high risk of serious flu-related complications (including young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions). This is true both for seasonal flu and novel flu virus infections. If you are in a high-risk group and develop flu symptoms, you should contact your doctor early in your illness. Remind them about your high-risk status for flu. The CDC recommends that people at high risk for complications should get antiviral treatment as soon as possible because the benefit is most significant if treatment is started within two days after illness onset.

I hope you all have a safe and healthy remainder of the flu season. Wash your hands, get your flu shot, and if you get sick, please take a page out of Jimmy’s book and stay home if at all possible!

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