So far Texas County’s 2017/2018 flu season stands at 9 lab confirmed cases. Seven of those were reported this week.
Flu activity most commonly peaks in January or February but can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May. Most of the U.S. is now experiencing high levels of influenza-like-illness (ILI), according to the Center for Disease Control.
While getting a flu shot is still the best way to prevent influenza, the importance of basic everyday measures must not be overlooked to help minimize the spread of influenza within the community.
#1 Wash Your Hands (Well and Often) and Use Hand Sanitizers.
Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact. Someone who has the flu and sneezes onto their hand, then touches the telephone, the keyboard, a kitchen glass. The germs can live for hours, in some cases weeks, only to be picked up by the next person who touches the same object. So wash your hands well (for at least 20 seconds) and often. If no sink is available, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
#2 Don't Cover Your Sneezes and Coughs With Your Hands (use the "Dracula Cough instead).
Because germs and viruses cling to your bare hands, muffling coughs and sneezes with your hands results in passing along your germs to others. When you feel a sneeze or cough coming, do the "Dracula Cough" . Cough or sneeze into your inner elbow or upper arm. Or use a tissue, throw it away immediately, then wash your hands.
#3 Don't Touch Your Face
Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. Touching their faces is the major way children catch colds, and a key way they pass colds on to their parents.
#4 Stay home when sick
If you are ill with flu or other respiratory illness stay home (or keep your child at home) for at least 24 hours after fever is gone unless necessary, such as leaving home to seek medical care.
#5 Clean common use surfaces
At home, in offices or other public places, particularly during flu and cold season, frequent cleaning of touched objects and surfaces such as doorknobs, keyboards, and phones helps to minimize transference of germs.