Seven tips for dealing with flu season

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 14, 2006

It&8217;s better to be healthy alone than sick with someone else.

&8212; Phillip C. McGraw

Influenza [flu] seems to have reached Shelby County so consider yourself fortunate if no one you know has been diagnosed with the flu. We can all rest assured, however, that one of our co-workers, family members or friends will sometime this season experience the all too familiar signs of the flu. The high fever. The aches and pains. The weakness.

For those that took the time to be vaccinated for the flu this season, now is when you will reap the rewards. For those of us that thought we were too busy to take the time to be vaccinated, now is when we regret the decision. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anyone who wishes to reduce their chances of getting the flu should get a vaccine; in particular, groups such as people 65 years and older and all children 6-23 months of age should be vaccinated each year.

Outside of moving to a deserted island, there is no foolproof way to avoid contracting flu. That said, taking to heart the precautions recommended by the CDC can help you and those you care about avoid getting sick this season.

Here are a few simple suggestions from the CDC for doing your best to ward off the flu this season:

– Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If you are not near water, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as much as possible.

– Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

– Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

– Get regular exercise, enough rest and eat healthy balanced meals.

– Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs often spread this way.

– If you get the flu, stay home from work, school, and social gatherings. In this way you will help prevent others from catching your illness.

– So, stock up on hand sanitizer and chicken soup; we&8217;re all likely to need plenty of both before spring