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Flu Season Tips

November 14th, 2018 by WCBC Radio

To help people stay healthy during what is expected to be the busiest Thanksgiving travel season ever, Richard Webby, Ph.D., a member of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s Infectious Diseases Department and one of a select group of scientists responsible for determining the composition of flu vaccines each year, is offering important tips for protecting you and your family from the flu. 


Many pediatric patients at St. Jude are at a greater risk of getting sick from influenza (flu) and other viral infections because of their diseases and treatments. Therefore, helping to disseminate lifesaving educational information about flu prevention techniques is of paramount importance to the St. Jude Infectious Diseases Department. November through February are peak flu months, and last year’s flu season was one of the deadliest in history.


St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s Infectious Diseases Department has released a fact sheet with useful medical advice and tips on prevention titled “Controlling the Spread of Colds and Flu.”


Some of the fact sheet tips to protect you and your family from the flu include:

  • Get the flu vaccine as soon as it is available to you and your family. Having all members of your family vaccinated helps provide a circle of protection. All members of the family 6 months or older are recommended to receive an annual flu vaccine.


  • Clean your hands often with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. The flu is spread from person to person through coughing or sneezing.  If you are near an infected person who is coughing or sneezing, you might breathe in the flu virus. You might also become infected through touching.


  • Stay home if you’re sick. Until you are free of symptoms and a fever for 24 hours, you may still remain contagious. Cold and flu symptoms include coughing, sneezing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills or fatigue. It is possible for people infected with a flu virus to infect others even a day before symptoms appear. 


  • Cover your mouth and nose. If you have to cough or sneeze, cover your face with your arm or a tissue. Then throw the tissue away and clean your hands. If you or a family member has a fever along with symptoms and has to leave the house, consider using a face mask in public to help control spreading the virus.


  • Avoid touching your nose and mouth. Touching objects like door handles or toys that have flu virus on them and then touching your mouth or nose is a prime way the flu virus spreads from person to person.


“While the flu vaccine is the No. 1 way to protect yourself, there are other basic, lifesaving precautions you can take to minimize risk and help control spread of the virus,” Webby said. “This holiday season while millions of people travel, practicing a few simple steps can help combat the dangerous flu virus. Whether in the airport, on a train or in the car, we can all do our part to protect ourselves and our neighbors, while looking out for the most vulnerable members of our society.

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