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Spread the cheer, not the flu

Don’t let the flu spoil this holiday season, says the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA).

The flu virus can flourish at various holiday gatherings, unless people are aware of the many ways they can stop the flu in its tracks.

“Getting a flu vaccination is the single most effective way to prevent the flu,” said Wilma Wooten, MD, MPH, County of San Diego Public Health Officer. “Since symptoms may not appear for up to five days after exposure, you might not know you’re sick and may infect others. Flu cases often go up during the holidays, peaking in January. Get vaccinated now to improve your chances of having healthy holidays.”

For information on getting a flu vaccination, call (877) 358-0202 or go to http://www.sdiz.org.

Help prevent the spread of the flu, and other respiratory illnesses, during the holidays and year-round by following these easy tips:

• Wash hands: Use warm soapy water and wash for 20 seconds (“Happy Birthday” sung twice is approximately 20 seconds). Wash both sides of hands and scrub nails and in between fingers.

• Cover coughs with a tissue or sleeve.

• Stay home when sick to avoid passing the illness on to others.

This season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all children 6 months through 18 years get vaccinated.

Other specific groups that should receive flu vaccine include pregnant women, persons who are 50 and older, people of any age with serious chronic health conditions, those who live in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, healthcare professionals, caregivers of those at high risk for flu-related complications and anyone who wants to reduce their risk of getting the flu.

 

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