With recent deaths being reported in North Carolina in connection with this year’s early onset of the flu, officials with the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center urges county residents to take precautions to avoid getting sick.
Besides getting an annual flu vaccine, there are other things county residents can do.
“We want to emphasize to the public the importance of taking action to protect themselves through vaccination, proper hand hygiene and other precautions such as covering coughs and staying home when sick,” Surry County Health and Nutrition Center’s Assistant Director of Nursing Jessica Jessup said.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), simple actions can help prevent the flu or at the very least make it less severe.
• Avoid close contact. Echoing local health officials, the CDC recommends keeping away from others to help prevent the spread of the flu.
• Cover your mouth and nose. When you cough or sneeze, covering your mouth and nose is more than just polite. It can prevent others from catching the flu.
• Wash your hands well and often. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 30 seconds. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs can get into your body if you have them on your hands and touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
• Practice good health habits. Simple things like getting plenty of sleep, staying physically active, watching your stress levels, drinking plenty of fluids and eating nutritious foods can help your body fight off this year’s flu strain.
But Jessup said that if you get the flu, one of the most prudent things residents can do is visit a doctor.
“We want to encourage that as well,” she said. “Anyone who feels like they need to see a physician should see a physician.”