February 2, 2006
FLU SEASON BEGINS TO PEAK; PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS
Charlotte, NC -The influenza season starts to hit its peak this time of year and the Mecklenburg County Health Department is reminding residents of some easy steps to protect themselves from the flu.
The best defense against the flu is a flu shot, but in the absence of that precaution, there are some things people can do to keep the virus at bay.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following are recommendations to prevent the spread of the flu and other infectious diseases in the general population and for school-age children:
• Avoid close contact --Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
• Stay home when you are sick--If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
• Proper Nutrition--Eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and exercise may help reduce susceptibility to the flu and other infections.
• Cover your mouth and nose--Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
• Clean your hands--Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth--Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
"We are asking people to follow these simple steps to avoid the spread of influenza and other infections here in Mecklenburg County," according to Dr. Stephen Keener medical director.
The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services Epidemiology Section has elevated recent influenza activity in the State from sporadic to regional. This means that reports of flu-like illnesses and tests confirmed influenza type B has been reported in many counties across North Carolina. So far this season, Mecklenburg County has only had five confirmed cases of influenza.