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Protecting yourself, others from the flu

The cold and flu season has arrived, and it seems that Texas residents are being hit hard.
Prevention is the best medicine for the flu and colds, not only for oneself, but for family, friends and coworkers.
According to Andrew B. Crocker, Extension gerontology health specialist with Texas AgriLife Extension Service, cold and flu season is a good time to look in different light at the old adages about not taking your job home with you and leaving your personal life at home.
You may be taking home more than just work. Cold and flu germs can stay on your hands from two to eight hours.
Get a flu vaccination. It isn’t too late. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advocate vaccination as the best way to prevent the flu.
Even if you are unconcerned about getting the flu yourself, think about your co-workers, family, neighbors, etc. In many cases, what you do or don’t do impacts others.
Vaccines are administered through shots or nasal inhalation. A person’s age and health can determine which form of vaccination they receive. Both are relatively inexpensive and are readily available. Medicare Part B will pay for flu vaccinations for beneficiaries.
Also keep in mind there are some anti-viral medications you may take if you happen to get the flu, which may help alleviate symptoms.
In addition to getting a flu shot, some other practices to follow include:
• Wash your hands for 15-plus seconds – the time it takes to say the ABCs – with soap and warm water. Do not forget to wash the backs of the hands. This is especially important before and after working in common areas, such as copy rooms and mailrooms.
• Cover coughs and sneezes. Covering coughs and sneezes with one’s hands is not best, but if it is necessary, be sure to wash hands immediately. Try coughing or sneezing into a tissue or handkerchief, or cough into the elbow.
• Drink plenty of fluids. Get plenty of rest. Exercise. All of these are good for overall health but also my help prevent/lessen the effects of a cold or flu.
• Stay home. If you are ill, do not come to work. Your co-workers will thank you. The same goes for kids; keep them home from school.
The flu and common colds are caused by viruses; antibiotics have no effect on them.

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Posted by on Jan 30 2009. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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