Flu activity increasing
Flu activity is increasing in the United States, as expected during this time of year. There is still time to get vaccinated for influenza. Most influenza illnesses occur in January, February, and March.
There have already been 13 flu-related deaths in children reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccination remains the most important step in being protected against influenza and its complications. The flu vaccine is recommended for people over the age of 6 months. All teachers, child care, and health providers should get the flu vaccine and strongly encourage all others to do the same.
Pregnant women, children, and the elderly are particularly at risk for flu-related complications. If you fall into one of those categories or have someone in your family that is high-risk, it is important for everyone in your family to be vaccinated.
Symptoms of the virus include fever, cough, body aches, headaches and fatigue. To treat the flu, the CDC recommends using over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or cough syrup to relieve symptoms, in addition to resting and taking fluids.
Prevent the Spread of Germs
With flu activity increasing during the winter months, the challenge is to keep flu germs from spreading. Children should be taught to cover their mouths and noses with a tissue when they cough or sneeze. Children should also be taught to cough or sneeze into their elbow/upper sleeve and to avoid covering the nose or mouth with bare hands. Everyone should be encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Other everyday precautions:
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Stay home if you get sick.
- Clean work and household surfaces often.
- Wear a mask if you have a weakened immune system.
- Ask your family, friends and health providers to get a flu vaccination.
- Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food.
- Manage any chronic conditions.
Ask your physician about getting your flu shot or click here to find a doctor