Floridians Encouraged To Practice Good Hygiene During Flu Season
The Florida Department of Health (DOH) encourages Floridians to practice good hygiene as influenza (flu) activity in Florida increases, which is typical for this time of year.
In the United States, influenza results in approximately 200,000 hospitalizations each year. Annually, over 36,000 people in the U.S. die from the flu, and most of these are age 65 or older. More people die from flu than from any other vaccine-preventable disease.
“Floridians must remain vigilant in protecting themselves and their loved ones against the flu, especially populations who are more susceptible to the disease” said State Surgeon General Ana M. Viamonte Ros, M.D., M.P.H. “Good health practices such as staying home when ill, washing hands and covering a cough are so important in keeping family, friends and coworkers healthy.”
Individuals can reduce their chance of contracting or spreading respiratory infections by:
* Staying home when sick and keeping sick children home
* Cleaning hands often with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand cleanser
* Not touching eyes, nose or mouth
* Avoiding close contact with people who are ill, if possible
* Not sharing eating utensils, drinking glasses, towels or other personal items
* Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
* Getting plenty of rest, healthy foods, fluids and exercise
It is not too late to get a flu shot this season. Parents and caregivers can contribute to the safety and well-being of children by having them immunized. It is also important that adults, parents and grandparents who are in close contact with young children be immunized as well.
Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for the following groups:
* Persons at high risk for influenza-related complications and severe disease, including
* Children aged 6-59 months
* Pregnant women
* Persons 50 years or older
* Persons of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
* Persons who live with, or care for, persons at high risk
* Health-care workers
In addition, immunization with the vaccine against Streptococcus pneumoniae – the pneumonia vaccine – can help prevent complications of influenza in those who are candidates for this vaccine.
Consult your doctor to determine if either or both of these vaccinations is an option for you. Individuals with influenza-like symptoms should contact a primary care physician for advice about management of their illness.