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Protect Yourself and Your Family this Flu Season

 

3 Tips to Help You and Your Family Stay Healthy 

Bowling Green, OH – Flu season is here and flu-like illnesses are on the rise, so take action to protect yourself and your family from getting sick during this flu season.  The flu is an upper respiratory infection so people with flu can spread it to others up to six feet away through coughs and sneezes. Here are some ways to stay healthy and prevent the spread of the flu.

The flu shot is the single best way to help prevent the flu and it’s not too late to get vaccinated.  It takes about two weeks for the body to build up immunity once you get the vaccine.  The CDC stated that the flu shot this year is not as effective as in previous years, but it’s better than no flu shot, which would leave you unprotected.  If you do end up getting the flu and had your shot, you’re more likely to have a milder case of the illness.   Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year, especially people at high risk for developing flu-related complications such as children younger than 5, adults aged 65 and older, pregnant women and people with health conditions like chronic lung diseases like asthma, lung or heart disease, kidney disease or diabetes.

Take action to prevent the spread of germs.  Avoid close contact with sick people.  Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as germs are spread this way.  Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that can be contaminated with germs.  If you or your children are sick, stay home from work and school so you don’t get others sick.  Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough and then throw it away after you use it.    Drink a lot of water and other fluids to keep hydrated.  Flu symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, chills and body aches.  Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea.  You can treat fever and cough with medicines from the store.

If you get the flu and are high risk, check with your healthcare provider promptly as your doctor may do a rapid flu test and prescribe antiviral drugs like Tamiflu and Relenza to help shorten the time you are sick and prevent serious flu complications.  For people with high risk factors, this can mean the difference between having a mild illness versus a serious illness resulting in a hospital stay.  The antiviral medications work best if taken within 48 hours of getting sick.

Flu season comes every year, so this is not new, but experts are predicting this year there may be more severe flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths, so it is important to take precautions to protect yourself and your family. If you would like to get the flu shot, you can call Wood County Health District to set up an appointment at 419-354-9049.  If you are looking for a primary healthcare provider, you can set up an appointment with a healthcare provider at the Wood County Community Health and Wellness Center by calling 419-354-9049.  The Community Health and Wellness Center is accepting new patients and provides primary and preventive care regardless of ability to pay or health insurance status.  Medicare and Medicaid recipients are welcome.

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