FLU PREVENTION NEWSLETTER COPY: Use these brief messages and the Flu Granny image in organization newsletters, church bulletins, as email messages….the sky is the limit. More images are available at www.miOttawa.org/flu (Recommended publication period from October through November) FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, GET YOUR FLU SHOT! Influenza, commonly called the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness that usually strikes our population from December through February. Last year, a new strain of influenza is circulated called “novel H1N1.” The best action you can take to prevent the seasonal flu from affecting you and others is getting your flu vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine is recommended for everyone. This year’s seasonal vaccine protects against novel H1N1 flu as well as two other strains. The vaccine greatly reduces your risk of getting the illness. While no vaccine is 100% effective, even if you do get the flu, your symptoms will be much milder than they would have been without the vaccine. And if you do not get the flu, you do not run the risk of spreading it to the people who are vulnerable to complications. For a schedule of Ottawa County Health Department seasonal flu vaccine clinics, visit www.miOttawa.org/flu or facebook.com/flugranny. (Recommended publication period from October through February) WHEN YOUR CHILD IS ILL Flu Symptoms: While prevention is the key, there may be times when your child does become ill with the Fever flu. In order to protect the health of other students and school staff, children who are sick Chills Cough should not attend school. Students who are sick should remain home until they are fever Sore Throat free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medicines. Keeping your child home Headache allows your child to rest and recover. If your child’s symptoms become severe, you Muscle Aches should contact your child’s health care provider. When you call the school office to report your child’s absence, do not be surprised if the school secretary asks about your child’s symptoms. Schools report the number of flu-like illnesses as well as other diseases to the health department each week. For more information about influenza, visit www.miOttawa.org/flu or facebook.com/flugranny. (Recommended publication period from December through February) COMMON SENSE FLU PREVENTION No one likes to be sick with the flu. During flu season, there are ways to help reduce your risk of getting the illness. And if you do get sick, there are things you can do to prevent spreading the flu to others. ▫ FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME, WASH YOUR HANDS Wash your hands often during flu season. Always wash them after using the restroom and before eating or preparing food. In between, you can use an alcohol based hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. ▫ FOR GOODNESS SAKES, COVER YOUR MOUTH WHEN YOU SNEEZE. When you cough or sneeze, viruses release into the air and other people inhale them. Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your inner elbow reduces the viruses that enter the air. By using your inner elbow or a tissue instead of your hand, you are not spreading the viruses to the things you touch. ▫ YOU’RE OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER, DON’T GO TO WORK OR SCHOOL SICK. When others are sick, avoid contact with them. And when you are sick, keep your distance from others. Stay home from work, school, errands, and other events. Plus, getting plenty of rest will help you recover faster. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.MIOTTAWA.ORG/FLU OR FACEBOOK.COM/FLUGRANNY.
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