Polk issues statement on best ways to avoid the Flu

Published 10:51 pm Tuesday, January 23, 2018

COLUMBUS – According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the best way to prevent getting the flu is to get vaccinated.

Polk County Government issued a statement on Monday, Jan. 22 advising the public on how to avoid the seasonal flu, which has taken several lives this year so far.

The county urges residents to help prevent the spread of the disease by avoiding close contact with people who are sick, staying home when you are sick, and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Other recommendations include cleaning your hands, avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school.

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Washing hands often will help protect you from germs, according to the CDC. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth, so avoiding touching these areas of the face is recommended.

When someone is ill, it is a good habit to clean and disinfect any areas that are frequently touched.

The CDC also urges people to get plenty of sleep, to be physically active, to manage stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

If you get the flu, there are antiviral drugs that can be used to treat the illness, which can be prescribed by a doctor. The CDC says antiviral drugs can make the illness milder and shorten the time someone is sick and can also mean the difference between having a milder illness versus a very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay. Antiviral drugs work best when they are taken within two days of getting sick, but starting them later can still be helpful, especially if the sick person has a high risk factor or is very sick from the flu.

Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, congestion, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue, according to the CDC. Some people could also have vomiting and diarrhea and some may be infected with the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.