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I SSU E 1 | D E C E MBER 2009

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WILL THE

FLU GET YOU

DOWN THIS HOLIDAY

SEASON?


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Health & Beauty

Will The FLU Get You Down This Holiday Season? According to the CDC the number of cases of the flu have declined recently; however, the CDC Flu Activity map reminds us that the flu season is far from over.

Have or will you get the flu vaccines? Either one or both the H1N1 or the seasonal flu vaccines? This year, I decided that I was not getting either type of flu vaccine. While the majority of people who get the vaccine never get the flu, I seem to get the flu within weeks of getting the vaccine. And as luck would have it, it's usually Christmas or New Years when I'm the sickest. This year is different in that I had the H1N1 flu a few months ago, and still have a pretty bad case of bronchitis as a result. While getting the flu vaccine offers you the best protection against getting the flu, there are a few other things you can do to lower your risk. Because the flu virus is believed to be spread by being around people who are coughing and sneezing, keep a supply of tissues handy to pass out to others you may see coughing and sneezing around you, as well as to contain your own coughs and sneezes.

Of course, not enough can be said about proper hand washing hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 15 to 20 seconds using mild soap and water throughout the day after eating, using the bathroom, etc. If you don't have soap and water available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers regularly. I avoided hand sanitizers for a long time, because they caused eczema breakouts on my hands. This year, I've found hand moisturizers that work the same as the regular hand sanitizers. The hand moisturizing sanitizers that I've found include ones sold at Bath and Body Works, as well as one made by Gold Bond and available at most drug stores. The CDC has more tips for proper hand washing, that may be helpful.

If you do get the flu, make sure to stay away from others until you are well. You'll know when you are well enough to be in public when you have not had a fever for 24 hours without taking any fever-reducers such as acetaminophen or aspirin. Finally, it goes without saying that you should follow all public health warnings that occur in your area. Have you or your family had either the H1N1 flu or the seasonal flu this year? What are you doing to prevent the flu this year? Share your experiences with the flu, as well as what you are doing to prevent the flu from infecting yourself and your family.

“..keep a supply of tissues handy to pass out to others you may see coughing and sneezing around you.�

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