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Preparation, Not Panic – Key To Flu Safety

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

With the recent reports of swine flu in the United States and abroad, now is the time for education and understanding of what you can do to protect yourself and loved ones.

“The Oakland County Health Division has been preparing for the possibility of a public health emergency for some time now,” says Kathy Forzley, Manager / Health Officer of Oakland County Health Division, “Being prepared and practicing good personal hygiene are the best prevention measures to protect you and your family. It is essential to prepare at home, in your community, at work and in your school.” To prevent illness, you should:

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your sleeve.

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• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcoholbased hands cleaners are also effective.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth because germs spread this way.

• Keep surfaces clean with soap and water or disinfectant wipe.

• Stay home from work or school if you are sick and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

If you live in or travel to areas where swine influenza cases have been identified and become ill with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, you may want to contact a health care provider, particularly if you are worried about your symptoms. Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed.