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How to avoid catching the flu

Chances are you’ve already battled it this season, or know someone who has. It’s the flu, and we’re all bound to get it at some point in our lives, but with the rapid-spreading H1N1 epidemic (currently wreaking havoc upon 49 states in the U.S.), everyone’s taking extra precautions to keep themselves healthy and their families flu-free.

This flu season, it’s especially important to follow the steps to prevent illness and the spreading of germs. Follow the following steps to better protect yourself against the regular flu and H1N1:


Cover Your Cough

Don’t let your germs get into the air.

Use a tissue to cover your face or cough/sneeze into the bend of your elbow.

After you’ve use the tissues, make sure to throw it in the trashcan immediately.

Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth. That is an easy way for germs to spread from your hands into your body.



Wash Your Hands

Use soap and warm water and wash for at least 15 seconds. Makes sure you thoroughly wash in between fingers, under your fingernails and up to your wrists.

Stay further sanitized by using alcohol-based hand cleansers throughout the day, especially in heavily-trafficked areas.


Stay Home When You’re Sick

If you’re sick, you don’t want to spread your germs to others. Don’t go in to work if you’re feeling sick. Stay home at least 24 hours after your fever goes away.


Symptoms of H1N1

Symptoms of the H1N1 flu are similar to the seasonal flu including fever, cough, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, and sometimes vomiting and/or diarrhea.


When to Call the Doctor

If these symptoms worsen, or you have underlying health problems, contact your doctor immediately.  Otherwise, it’s not always necessary to visit the doctor with flu-like symptoms. If you feel it’s appropriate, vaccinate yourself against both the seasonal flu and H1N1.


When to Seek Emergency Care

Go to the Emergency Room if you have trouble breathing, you have severe vomiting, you’re not able to drink enough fluids, you have pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, or if your flu symptoms improve then return with fever and a worse cough.

For more information on keeping yourself healthy during flu season, click here.

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