Protecting Yourself and Children From the Flu
As the flu epidemic spreads across the United States, young children are especially vulnerable when it comes to suffering from? influenza, and health officials are urging parents to take precautions to protect themselves and their kids.
Although the flu season is already upon us, officials say it's not too late to get a flu shot, which continues to offer the best protection, noting it's the least painful way of combating the illness. Health officials recommend that all children 6 months and older get the? flu vaccine.
Pregnant women, the elderly and young children are at particular risk for the flu and its complications, health officials warned.? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? (CDC) stresses the importance of these groups getting the flu shot. Health officials also report this year's vaccine is an excellent match for the strains of influenza now circulating.
To minimize the chances of you or your child contracting the flu, health officials recommend the following precautions:?
- Wash hands with soap frequently, and if soap and water aren't available, use alcohol-based preparations.
- Avoid touching your face with your hands. Don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth because there are germs on your hands.
- When coughing, do so into a tissue or into the crook of your elbow, not into the air where droplets can easily infect people near you.
- If you or your child feels sick, stay home. Children may pass the virus for longer than seven days, while adults are contagious between five and seven days after becoming sick, according to the CDC.?
If you or your child contracts the flu, health officials recommend rest, drinking lots of fluids and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
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