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January 16, 2013

Keep the Flu At Bay

Food & Friends is always concerned about health and hygiene practices as many of our clients are living with compromised immune systems. Our staff and volunteers follow vigorous hygiene and food safety guidelines and are advised not to work if they are experiencing cold or flu symptoms to make absolutely certain our clients are not exposed to additional illnesses.

Courtesy of healthy.kaiserpermanente.org
Protect yourself and others this cold and flu season by practicing some easy proactive prevention strategies. Healthcare leader and Food & Friends supporter, Kaiser Permanente, provides some helpful tips on its website (healthy.kaiserpermanente.org) for preventing the flu and managing symptoms if you get the bug. As always, check with your doctor for complete medical advice on staying healthy during flu season.

Handy tips for staying healthy
  • Wash your hands often. Frequent hand washing helps protect you from whatever bug is going around. Plain soap works just as well as antibacterial soap.
  • Use hand sanitizer. The alcohol in sanitizer gels and wipes helps kill cold and flu viruses you pick up from any surface you touch.
  • Keep your face hands-free. Try not to rub your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs can enter your body this way, or be spread from your hands to others.
  • Get your flu vaccine. The flu shot helps prevent you from getting the flu and from spreading it to others. Even healthy people can develop serious complications or even die from the flu — so protect yourself and your loved ones by getting vaccinated.

If you get sick, be kind to yourself and others
  • Stay home and rest. Limit your exposure to others. Children, seniors, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of getting sick.
  • Drink lots of fluids. Hot herbal tea, warm water, and chicken soup are especially good for congestion (runny or stuffy nose).
  • Treat your aches and fever. Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol*) or ibuprofen (such as Advil*) can help provide relief. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label, especially for children. Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without using fever-reducing medicine.
  • Cover your sneeze or cough. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve to trap the germs. If you cough into your hands, wash them as soon as you can. Use disposable tissues and throw them away immediately after each use.

*Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.


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