Take precautions to avoid the flu
From Staff Reports January 15, 2013 11:36AM
Updated: February 17, 2013 6:09AM
Influenza activity continues to increase in the United States, with most of the country now experiencing high levels of influenza-like-illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.
The American Lung Association recommends that consumers protect themselves by getting a flu vaccine and taking preventive action to stop the spread of germs. Those who do get severely ill, especially people in high risk groups, should seek antiviral treatment as soon as possible.
“We can’t emphasize enough how important it is and how easy it is to provide your family with as much protection as possible by getting vaccinated against the flu,” said Harold Wimmer, president and CEO of the American Lung Association in Illinois.
The association offers these tips to help prevent the spread of the disease:
Cover nose and mouth with tissue when sneezing or coughing and throw away the tissue after use.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth, where germs spread easily.
Wash hands often with soap and water.
If you’re feeling sick, stay home from work, school and public places, so you don’t infect others.
Influenza is a highly contagious upper respiratory illness that can include some or all of the following symptoms: fever, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, diarrhea and vomiting.
Most people who contract the flu will have a relatively mild case and will not need to see a healthcare provider for antiviral treatment. However, if you experience severe symptoms and are worried about your illness or are among those at higher risk, visit your healthcare provider, who can determine whether influenza testing or treatment are needed.