Flu cases increasing this month
SCHUYLER COUNTY--Schuyler County Public Health is warning residents the flu is widespread in New York right now and the governor has declared influenza an imminent public health threat. Schuyler County Public Health actively monitors the flu and flu-like illness in the county each year. "While we are seeing flu cases in Schuyler County, so far this year we are not seeing more than we have seen in prior years," Schuyler County Public Health Director Marcia Kasprzyk stated. "However, in the Finger Lakes region flu cases have increased greatly since the start of February. This is the time of year when flu is most active in our county and we are continuing to monitor the situation."
A flu shot is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and your friends, but taking simple precautions can also go a long way toward avoiding the misery of influenza, advises Schuyler County Public Health.
Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Flu viruses also may spread when people touch something with flu virus on it and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth. "Good health habits, like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent the flu," said Kasprzyk. "Also, it is not too late to get your flu shot. Call us, your doctor or your pharmacist to get yours."
She offered these tips to stay healthy during flu season:
• Get your flu shot.
• 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. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
• Clean your hands. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.
• Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.
For more on the current flu season and how to protect yourself and your family, visit the State Health Department website at www.health.ny.gov/flu and the CDC atwww.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm. To find a flu vaccine near you, visit https://vaccinefinder.org/.