Monday, 17 December 2012 11:35

As flu activity increases, health department offers advice

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     With cases of flu increasing, the Oswego County Health Department is urging residents to stay home if they are sick and follow other preventive measures to limit the spread of the flu.

     "Flu activity is currently widespread and increasing across New York State," Oswego County Public Health Director Jiancheng Huang said. Huang noted that flu has come early to Oswego County, with this number of cases not typically seen until February.
     "While vaccine offers the greatest protection from the flu, there are important measures Oswego County residents can take to reduce their chances of getting and spreading the flu," said Judy Lester, RN, supervising public health nurse with Oswego County.
    • Lester urges all residents to take the following measures:
    • Get vaccinated. (The Oswego County Health Department still has vaccine available.)
    •  Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your elbow, not your hands. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
    •  Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth. Flu spreads that way.
    • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
     Stay home when you are sick, and do not return to school or work until you have been fever-free without medication for at least 24 hours.
Diane Oldenburg, senior public health educator with the Oswego County Health Department, reminds everyone with the flu activity increasing and family and friends gathering for the holidays, it is important to follow these important measures to protect your loved ones.
Adults can receive a flu shot at the Oswego County Health Department Office, 70 Bunner St. in Oswego, Monday through Friday from 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. Parents are asked to bring children for any shots on Tuesday afternoons, between 12:30-3:30 p.m. Flu shots are available in Pulaski, for adults and children, at the Pulaski Courthouse the first and third Tuesdays of the month from 9-11:30 a.m. The flu shot costs $37 and is covered by Medicare and Medicaid. Those attending should bring their insurance cards with them
More information on the flu is available on the State Health Department's website at www.nyhealth.gov; and on the CDC website at www.flu.gov
Residents with questions about flu vaccine may also call the Health Department at 349-3547.

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