Put the Happy Back In Your Holidays: Avoid getting the flu this holiday season

It is National Influenza Vaccination Week!

While flu season began a few months ago, this is the time of year doctor’s begin to see a lot more cases.
Ashley Randleman, a pediatric nurse practitioner with Multicare Rockwood Clinic says so far they’ve only diagnosed one child with the flu this season. That might sound encouraging, but it’s actually on par with this time last yea, which ended up being Spokane’s worst flu season on record!

They’re encouraging everyone who is able to, to go in and get the flu shot as soon as possible. It isn’t too late! Remember, you cannot get the flu virus from the vaccine. It is made with dead strands of the virus. It takes 10 days or so to take effect.

Since the flu is every changing, the vaccine is made to reflect the previous flu season and what experts expect for the season ahead.

Often, people confuse the symptoms of the flu with symptoms of a cold. While they can appear similar, congestion, sore throat, cough, headaches, with the flu sufferers are more likely to have a fever, body chills and aches accompanying those symptoms.

With the holidays fast approaching, doctors recommend hand washing, and plenty of it!

Randleman said, “with water, anti-microbial soap and make sure you are doing it correctly. So we recommend about 20 seconds of hand-washing, about the time it takes you to sing happy birthday twice.”

Additionally, don’t forget to wash between your fingers, under your nails and the backs of your hands.

Plenty of rest is also important, as well as keeping hydrated, incorporating green vegetables and vitamin D into your diet and cleaning items like your cell phone or children’s toys that touch many surfaces
If you are going to be on a plane or in a car traveling, this is where folks are most vulnerable to germs – small and enclosed places. Bring antibacterial wipes and clean any surface you will touch before taking your seat, and keep hand sanitizer handy in case soap and water are not available.

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