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Posted in Healthy Living | February 2013

Stay healthy during cold and flu season

flu prevention
The flu is a common seasonal infection of the airways and lungs that usually rears its ugly head between the months of November and April. Most commonly, flu sufferers have a cough and fever, and may also feel tired and achy, and have a runny nose, headache and not much of an appetite. The rotten little bug can also bring nausea, vomiting and diarrhea to some unfortunate sufferers.

The flu is relatively common, but it’s not necessarily inevitable. There are ways to protect yourself and your family from contracting the flu. It doesn’t mean you won’t get it, but taking measures such as those recommended by the Government of Canada can help decrease the odds that you or someone you love will come down with a bout of the flu this winter:

  • Get a flu shot (if you can).
  • Cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hand.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If hand washing is not possible, use hand sanitizer.
  • Keep objects that many people touch clean (like doorknobs and TV remotes).
  • If you are sick, stay at home and try to limit contact with others.
  • To maintain a strong body, mind and spirit, eat well and be active every day.
  • Be a role model for kids and teach them how they can stop the spread of the flu.

If, despite your best efforts to avoid it, you do get the flu, make sure to take good care of yourself, especially if you’re a senior or someone with a preexisting medical condition.

Contact a doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Sudden dizziness or confusion
  • Severe or continued vomiting
  • High fever lasting more than 3 days

Contact a doctor if you are caring for a child who has the flu and:

  • Is not drinking or eating enough
  • Is not waking up or interacting with others
  • Is irritable, not wanting to play or be held

For more information on preventing the flu, visit FightFlu

409295 CAN/US (04/15)

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