Influenza

Nobody likes getting the flu, especially with symptoms ranging from a headache and stuffy nose to a sore throat and body aches. Coughs, fatigue and fevers aren’t any fun either. Although most people recover from the flu in less than two weeks, some people develop life-threatening complications. Wouldn’t it be awesome if there were a way to skip all these things?

Lucky for you, there are some key steps you can take to help avoid the flu or minimize the severity of your illness.

 

Wash Your Hands

·  Washing your hands often helps protect you

   from germs.

·  Use soap and warm water.

·  Wash for 15 to 20 seconds.

·  If soap and water are not available, use an

   alcohol-based hand sanitizer. You can find

   these products in most supermarkets and drugstores.

·  If the hand sanitizer is a gel, rub your hands

   until the gel is dry. The gel doesn't need water

   to work; the alcohol in it kills the germs on your hands.

 

Quit Smoking

People who smoke get the flu more easily and get sicker when they do. This is also true of people who breathe secondhand smoke, especially children and senior citizens. 

Call the Oregon Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free coaching and advice on quitting. The call is free and confidential. Patches or medicines to help you quit may be available. For more, visit www.quitnow.net/oregon.

 

Get the Seasonal Flu Vaccine

Many of the primary care providers in the area offer flu vaccination to their patients. Check with your provider to see if that is something they offer. If your provider doesn't offer vaccinations or you don't have a provider, please look for more information in the coming months about getting your fu vaccine here at the health department.

Most deaths and hospitalizations from influenza (and its related complications) occur in babies, the elderly, and people with a weakened immune system. However, the majority of the flu is spread by young, healthy, un-vaccinated children and adults. That's why vaccination is such an important part of flu prevention.

 

Still have questions about the flu?  More information can be found at the websites hosted by Oregon Health Authority and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.