If you haven’t gotten a flu shot this season, it’s not too late – and it’s still a good idea, health experts say. The vaccine is the best method for preventing influenza, and prevention is key right now, as flu activity is widespread across the state and has not peaked, experts warn. Four people have died and 439 have been hospitalized with the flu in Pennsylvania since the beginning of December.
Besides ensuring you and your family are vaccinated against influenza, the following precautions can help reduce the potential for transmitting the virus. The recommendations are from Luther Rhodes III, MD, chief of infectious diseases with Lehigh Valley Health Network, and Terry Burger, RN, the network’s director of infection control and prevention.
•Stay home if you have flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, fatigue, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, etc.).
•Stay home if you have norovirus-type symptoms (nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea).
•Disinfect your home and work area daily.
•Assure you have hand sanitizer in your home and near your work space and use it frequently.
•Sanitize your hands before and after eating and after using the restroom.
•Assure you use tissues to block any coughs and/or sneezes. Discard them immediately.
•Be respectful of your co-workers and family members if you have been ill but still have a resolving cough. Use tissues and/or your sleeve to block the coughing.
•Disinfect common areas in your home and workplace frequently.