With flu activity on the rise in the region, Burlington County freeholders, through the Burlington County Health Department, are warning residents to be prepared for the flu.
Officials want residents to know it is not too late to get vaccinated. Residents who feel ill or are experiencing flu like symptoms are encouraged to stay home to help prevent spreading the illness.
Other parts of the country and world are seeing a lot of flu cases this year. In Burlington County, the flu season usually peaks in February so it is not too late to get vaccinated. The health department encourages everyone to visit their physician or local pharmacy and get a flu shot.
It is especially important for people who are at high risk for complications, such as those over 50; children 6 months to 5 years old; and children and adults with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease to be vaccinated. Pregnant women and residents of nursing homes or long-term care facilities are also in the high risk category.
Along with getting vaccinated, practicing good health behaviors can help people avoid getting sick. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and stay home from work or school when you are ill. To find out where to get vaccinated please visit http://www.state.nj.us/health/flu/findflushot.shtml.
The Freeholders are also asking residents who are experiencing flu-like
The Burlington County Health Department recommends the following tips for dealing with the flu:
- Stay at home and rest: Persons who develop flu-like illness (fever with either cough or sore throat) should stay home for 7 days after the onset of the illness or at least 24 hours after symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer.
- Persons who have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath or are believed to be severely ill should seek immediate medical attention.
- If ill persons must go into the community, they should make every effort to cover their face -- use a handkerchief or tissues to cover any coughing.
- Frequent hand washing with soap and water is suggested. Use alcohol-based hand gels (containing at least 60% alcohol) when soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty.
- For people living with those that are ill, they should designate a single household family member as the ill person's caregiver to minimize interactions with the sick individual.
- Drink plenty of water and other clear liquids to prevent fluid loss (dehydration)
- Treat fever and cough with medicines you can buy at the store
For further information about influenza, visit the CDC Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm.