News Medical

Published on January 24th, 2017 | by University Communications

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Health and Wellness Center offers advice for flu season

The best way for people to protect themselves from the flu is to get vaccinated, and it’s not too late to get a shot. Remember, flu season lasts until the end of spring.

“The flu vaccine also protects those who aren’t able to get it, including infants younger than 6 months and people with certain allergies and medical conditions,” said Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. When others are vaccinated it is less likely that the flu will be spread to those who are not.

To avoid spreading the flu,

  • Be sure to wash your hands well and often. If soap and water aren’t readily available, opt for an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It’s also important to be aware of what you touch, including commonly used surfaces and objects like phones, doorknobs, and keyboards.
  • Cover up. Be sure to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. A tissue is best, but your sleeve will work if you don’t have one handy.
  • Stay home. If you, your child, or someone in your household gets the flu, be sure to keep that person home from school or work so that infection is not spread to others. It’s important for people who are sick to stay home until they fully recover.

“Those who do end up with the flu should visit their doctor,” Kahn recommended. There’s no cure for the flu, but antiviral drugs can ease flu symptoms if treatment is started early. “The drugs are most effective for people who take them within 48 hours of developing symptoms,” he explained.

Chest pains or trouble breathing are warning signs of pneumonia, and should be treated by a doctor right away.

For more information on flu prevention, contact the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm.

The Health and Wellness Center offers flu shots for $25. For more information, contact the Health and Wellness Center at (352) 588-3247, or email teresa.dadez@saintleo.edu.

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