Now that flu season is in full swing, here are some tips from the Mt. Lebanon School District Health Services Department based on the Allegheny County Health Department and CDC resources. Remember, it is not too late to get a flu shot.
WHAT IS THE FLU?
Contagious Respiratory Illness - caused by a virus that infects the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs.
It can cause mild to severe illnesses, and at times lead to death.
HOW DOES THE FLU SPREAD?
Flu viruses are thought to spread mainly from person to person through droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk.
Flu viruses also may spread when people touch something with flu virus on it and then touch their mouth, eyes, or nose. Many other viruses/illnesses spread these ways too.
The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year.
However, good health habits as in everyday preventive actions can help slow the spread of germs that can cause many different illnesses.
Avoid Close Contact - When you are ill, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting ill also.
Stay home when you are sick - If possible, stay home from work, school, errands when you are ill. The rule is you should be symptom free for 24 hours before returning to school, work, etc.
Cover your mouth and nose - when coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue to help prevent those droplets from spreading and getting others around you ill.
Clean your hands - handwashing will help protect you from germs. If soap and water is not available - use alcohol-based hand rub. Clean hands can save lives!
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth - Germs are spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
Practice other good health habits -
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces - especially when others are ill.
- Get plenty of sleep
- Be physically active
- Manage your stress
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Eat nutritious foods
WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET ILL
Stay home until symptom free for 24 hours or more
Make sure that even if symptom free - you are not too weak to perform your job duties
Avoid contact with others except for medical care
Contact your healthcare provider (HCP) for further directions - review your symptoms with your HCP - do not wait until your symptoms are severe to seek medical attention
Information from CDC and ACHD.