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Health Department: Get a flu vaccine and make good habits

FLU SEASON

Flu activity has been increasing during the last few weeks. Most of the flu cases so far have been caused by the H1N1 virus, from the 2009 outbreak. H1N1 continues to affect children and younger adults more than people older than 65. Some cases of H1N1 have been severe, causing hospitalizations and some deaths.

It is not too late to get vaccinated against the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccination each year. It is very important for people at high risk of flu complications, such as young children, pregnant women, people with chronic illnesses, and people over 65, to get vaccinated. All types of the flu vaccine protect against H1N1.

Go to http://www.flu.gov to learn more, and to find a flu shot near you. Call first to make sure the vaccine is still available. For more information, call the Carroll County Health Department at 1-800-966-3877.

The Carroll County Health Department recommends single best way to prevent the flu, which is to get a flu vaccine each season. The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season.

Good health habits

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  • Avoid close contact.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
  • Cover your mouth and nose.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  • Clean your hands.
  • Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or nose.

Stop the Spread of Germs

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  • Healthy habits can protect everyone from getting germs or spreading germs at home, work, or school.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu can help slow the spread of influenza.

For more information, please call the Health Department at 410-876-4900, or visit the CDC website http://www.cdc.gov.

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