Protect Yourself from the Flu
Posted On:
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
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The cold and flu season is upon us, and cases are on the rise in our area. However, there are things we can do to protect ourselves and our children from becoming sick, most importantly:

Get a flu vaccine yearly. Vaccines are still available from physicians and pharmacies.

Wash hands frequently with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.

Disinfect frequently-touched surfaces and shared items at least once per day.

Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. A tissue works best but if one is not available, cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow.

Keep your hands away from your eyes and out of your mouth.

Do not share water bottles, food, or other personal items.

Eat a nutritious diet, participate in regular physical activity, and get plenty of sleep to stay healthy and help your body fight off the infections you are sure to encounter.

While it is important for students to be in school at all times, there are circumstances when it is in the best interest of your child and other students to keep your child at home. For example, your child should not attend school if he/she has a fever (within past 24 hours) without medication, is vomiting, or has diarrhea. If it is necessary for your child to be absent, please call the school as soon as possible. Also, if your contact information has changed, make sure that the school is aware of those changes in case of an emergency.

Common symptoms of flu include high fever, severe headache, muscle and body aches, exhaustion, and dry cough. Additionally, children often exhibit flu symptoms that are less likely in adults, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you are concerned you or your child might have the flu (especially if you suffer from chronic disease), call your doctor immediately. Doctors can prescribe antiviral medication which can help lessen the duration of the virus and reduce the risk of complications, such as pneumonia. To be effective, antiviral medication should be taken within 12-48 hours of the onset of symptoms.

For more information on the flu, go to http://www.cdc.gov/flu/ or call the Sullivan County Health Department at (423) 279-2777.

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