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Keeping healthy during flu season

Covering sneezes and coughs can help stop the spread of germs and viruses this flu season
Covering sneezes and coughs can help stop the spread of germs and viruses this flu season

Still waiting to get that flu vaccine that every doctor on television is telling you to line up for? The flu vaccine and the H1N1 Virus vaccine was just released all over the country and many people are being turned away. Not all of the vaccines have been released yet. While knowing that the vaccine is a positive step in fighting off the flu this season, it is not the only step. There are many common sense things that need to be done to protect yourself and your family.

The first line of defense is taking care of yourself properly. Wash your hands often – not just when you cook or use the restroom. After washing your hands in a public restroom, use paper towel or your sleeve to open the door. While hand washing is not convenient after shaking hands, keep yourself and your children armed with hand sanitizers. Stores no stocke wipes that are travel size so you can wipe down public surfaces.

Most of us were taught to cover our mouths with our hands when we cough. Doctors are now encouraging coughing into your sleeve, so as to not pass along the germs with your hands. Same goes for sneezing. A sneeze can travel up to 102 mph. Just imagine where the germs that fly through the air after a sneeze.

Parents, take this advice, please! When your child is not feeling well, do not send them to school or daycare. You may risk contaminating your child’s classroom and spreading those germs to the other children. Schools all over the country, including here in Michigan, have been shut down to sanitize after a massive flu breakout. Doctors and schools suggest not allowing your child to return until their fever has been gone for 24 hours. You can expect the flu to keep adults home for about seven days and children about ten days.

There are several strains of the flu every year. If you find yourself with the flu, be sure to stay away from people throughout the duration you are showing symptoms and until you have at least one full day symptom free. See your doctor immediately upon symptoms breaking. If symptoms worsen, such as, labored breathing, seizures, convulsions or dehydration go to the hospital immediately.