Health Dept. offers flu tips

The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but a spokesperson for the Fulton County Health Department said 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.

There also are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent flu.

Rachel Kinsman, FCHD health education coordinator said the following tips can help prevent a bout with the flu:

• 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 from work, school, and errands when you are sick.

• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

• Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

• 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.

What is the right way to wash your hands? Wet them with clean, running water, warm or cold, turn off the tap, and apply soap. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Scrub for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. Rinse well under clean, running water. Dry using a clean towel or air-dry.

Kinsman said the single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated. If you or a family member still need a flu vaccine, call the health department at 419-337-0915 to schedule an appointment.

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