You can stop the spread of influenza with these simple steps:
- Get vaccinated at the Health Center. Call (269) 387-3290 to make an appointment (and to find out if flu vaccine is still available).
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away after you use it.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
Care for yourself if you have flu symptoms (symptoms may include body aches, fever and chills, sore throat, cough and congestion):
- Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Use acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin) as needed for fever, sore throat and body aches.
- Reduce coughing and congestion with over-the-counter decongestants, cough medicine, throat lozenges or saline nose drops. Medications like these are available from the Sindecuse Pharmacy.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol.
- Stay home and limit contact with others until you have been fever-free for 24 hours, unless you need medical care.
Anyone wishing to reduce the likelihood of contracting influenza should receive flu vaccine. Those at increased risk for flu-related complications are especially encouraged to be immunized. These include persons with asthma or other lung disease, diabetes, heart disease, any chronic medical condition or HIV infection. In addition, anyone over 65 years of age is encouraged to be vaccinated.
Vaccination can prevent severe complications from influenza, including bacterial pneumonia, and helps prevent the spreadof influenza to high risk individuals. Vaccination must be received in time to create immunity through the winter months. Resistance to infection takes two weeks to develop and lasts throughout flu season.