Holidays are a time to gather and celebrate. The Public Health Division of the El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency recommends taking time to get a flu vaccine, taking preventative actions to stop the spread of germs, and if you do get sick, taking flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them, to help keep this season a joyous one. "Each season's flu vaccine contains three or four virus strains that are most likely to be encountered in the coming flu season. The flu vaccine protects against many of the strains, but not all," says Dr. Alicia Paris-Pombo, El Dorado County Health Officer. "This year we have a "drift" and some of the circulating influenza virus is not well matched with the flu vaccine." Dr. Paris-Pombo added that influenza activity in California and El Dorado County remains low.
To lessen the likelihood of becoming ill, cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, wash your hands often, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, clean and disinfect surfaces and objects, avoid close contact with sick people, and stay home if you are sick.
Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected by the flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever. If you are feeling ill contact your doctor early and take any flu antiviral drugs you may be prescribed. For more information about how to fight the flu, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm.
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