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Tips To Enjoy a Flu-Free Holiday Season
Date:11/24/2009

MT. CLEMENS, Mich., Nov. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Most people look forward to kicking off the holiday season with Thanksgiving dinner, getting together with friends and family. The Macomb County Health Department reminds you to protect your family's health during the holidays. Traveling and being in large groups are easy ways to spread flu germs.

Remember these steps to stay healthy:

VACCINATION

The first and most important step is for people in the high-risk categories to get vaccinated against the H1N1 strain of the flu. The Macomb County Health Department has conducted 11 immunization clinics as of Nov. 24. Visit the department's Web site at www.macombcountymi.gov/publichealth, or call 586.466.7923 for more information, including upcoming clinics as they are scheduled.

Currently, the high-priority groups include:

  • Pregnant women
  • New parents and household contacts of children less than 6 months of age
  • Healthy children and young adults 6 months through 24 years of age
  • Health care and emergency medical services workers (regardless of age)
  • Adults ages 25 to 64 years of age with high-risk medical conditions that increase risk of complications from influenza

WHEN TRAVELING

To avoid making others ill, travel only when you feel well. Make sure you cover your coughs and sneezes, preferably with your arm, not your hand. To keep yourself safe when traveling, the simplest and most important thing you can do is to keep your hands clean. The first line of defense against the spread of germs is washing your hands often. When soap and water are not available, hand sanitizer or wipes are effective alternatives.

WHEN GATHERING

No one wants to miss their helping of turkey and dressing, but if you have flu-like symptoms, the best thing to do is to stay home. If you're hosting dinner, offer to put together a doggy bag of leftovers to send to an ailing friend or relative who isn't able to attend. For those in attendance, offer hand sanitizer upon arrival and as they leave to head home.

WHEN SHOPPING

If you decide to take advantage of the Black Friday sales Nov. 27, you'll expose yourself to crowds of people. Avoid shaking hands, keep away from others who are coughing or sneezing, and use your hand sanitizer or wash your hands often during your shopping excursions.

Getting plenty of rest, eating well and exercising will also allow your body to fight off any possible illness.

SOURCE Macomb County Health Department


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