Help stop the spread of the flu

Published 12:21 pm Wednesday, January 8, 2020

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Do not underestimate the importance of prevention strategies when it comes to avoiding and preventing the spread of the flu. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states flu can spread from person to person mainly by droplets when people cough, sneeze or talk. These tiny droplets than land on unsuspecting people nearby and enter their body by mouth or nose.

In addition, these droplets can land on surfaces that are then touched by others who then touch their face, mouth, etc. Unfortunately, the potential to spread the flu can occur one day before symptoms are even present, which makes prevention strategies for those who may have the flu and those who do not even more important.  

During the current 2019-2020 flu season the CDC has estimated 55,000 to 93,000 people have already been hospitalized because of the flu. Further, over the past several years the North Carolina “Flu Like Symptoms” reporting network began (ILINET) has recorded steep increases in the report of flu like symptom starting in the end of December and beginning of January.

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In addition to prevention efforts we encourage members of the community to get their flu vaccination.  If you have not already received your vaccine you can visit the below site to find a vaccine provider near you or call 828-894-8271 to speak to a member of the Public Health Division who can assist you in finding a flu vaccine location. Remember, prevention takes everyone.


Flu Vaccine Finder:

Healthy Habits to Help Prevent Flu (CDC) 

  1. Avoid close contact with sick people
  2. Stay home when you are sick 
    1. until 24 hours after fever subsides (without the use of fever reducing medicine) 
    2. except to get medical care if needed
  3. Stay home if you have these symptoms:
    1. Fever/chills
    2. Cough/sore throat
    3. Runny/stuffy nose
    4. Muscle aches/headaches (with one or more of the above symptoms)
    5. Diarrhea/vomiting
  1. Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
    1. Cough into sleeve or tissue NOT into hands!
  1. Frequent hand hygiene (if soap and water unavailable, use alcohol based hand rub
  2. Avoid touching mouth, eyes, or nose
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at work, home, and school (phones, doorknobs, keyboards, etc.)


Submitted by Joshua Kennedy


“We can all be flu fighters by working together to break the transmission cycle. Polk County Health and Human Services Agency has been actively promoting the flu vaccine all season as the leading strategy to prevent the spread of the flu. Too many individuals go unvaccinated throughout the U.S. each year which hurts our ‘herd immunity’. The good news, it is possible to curb the spread of the flu and protect those who are most vulnerable from negative outcomes of the flu. We simply need everyone to do their part which includes washing your hands, avoid touching your face unnecessarily, cough/sneeze into your arm or cover your mouth, and if you are sick, stay in bed and avoid contact with others until you are no longer contagious. Again, most importantly get your flu vaccine.” 

– Joshua Kennedy, Health and Human Services Director


Can you do the above quote as a bump out?