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Protect Yourself from Illness

Flu SeasonIn the past two weeks, there has been a large increase of illnesses in the Russell community according to Russell County Health Nurse Paula Bitter.

The illnesses range from head colds to strep throat to the stomach virus.

Bitter says she has also seen positive cases for influenza A.

She says get the flu vaccine. It's the best way to protect yourself. Even if you get influenza after getting the flu vaccine, the symptoms usually are not as severe and do not last as long.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick until your fever has been gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medication. This will help prevent spreading the illness to others. The only exception is if you are seeking medical care. When you are at the doctor's office, use masks that are provided to prevent germs from being spread throughout the waiting room.

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches a surface or object that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.

Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu can help slow the spread of influenza.

If you get influenza, take the medication prescribed by your medical provider completely.

Remember flu symptoms: cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. People may also be infected with the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

Protecting yourself and others starts with you.

(Information courtesy Russell County Health Nurse Paula Bitter.)

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