Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local News

January 21, 2013

Staying well during flu season

AMERICUS — The Centers for Disease Control is reporting 30 states, including Georgia, now have high levels of flu-like illness. The Georgia Department of Public Health website states influenza is hitting the state harder this season than anytime in the last 10 years.

However, people in Americus seem to be fighting off the flu better than those in other areas. In a release issued Friday, the Sumter County Health Department stated it has not seen a higher than expected number of reported influenza cases.

“At this time there is no increased incidence of influenza and no reports of clusters of influenza associated with group settings such as schools, day care centers and long-term care facilities in this community,” said County Nurse Manager Luneda Brown at the Sumter County Health Department.

Andrea Wright at the Sumter County Schools office said the schools have not seen an increase in absences. As of Friday the attendance rate was holding steady at 96 percent.

However, Brown said the flu is circulating in the county, so people should take precautions to stay well. “It is always a great idea to practice good cough etiquette and to be certain hands are washed with soap and water,” she said.

Good cough etiquette means coughing or sneezing into the crook of your arm or your shoulder, thus preventing the germs from getting on your hands and spreading to other people or items you may touch. If you use a tissue, throw it away.

The Health Department offers these additional tips to prevent the spread of the flu:

Clean your hands for an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth where flu germs can easily enter your body.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people and if you are sick, stay home from work or school. The CDC recommends you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-inducing medicine.)

Wipe/disinfect items such as doorknobs, a phone, TV remote, computer keyboard and mouse, or games, handled by a sick person and shared between household members.

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