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Prevent catching the flu

  Baptist Health Care wants to make sure our community is practicing proper preventive methods for the 2014-2015 flu season.  Influenza causes more than 200,000 people in the U.S. to be hospitalized every year and about 36,000 die from flu-related causes. The expert internal medicine and family medicine physicians of Baptist Medical Group share these helpful tips on how to avoid the flu this season.

Get the Flu Shot

The CDC still recommends people six months of age and older get vaccinated. Even though one strain of the flu virus has mutated from the strain used in the vaccine, the flu vaccine will still offer some protection and could reduce the severity of symptoms. Flu shots are available at Baptist Medical Group practices.

Cover Your Cough

Practice good manners and cover your cough or sneeze. Coughing and sneezing can project your germs from three to 12 feet on surfaces or persons around you. When you feel the need to cough or sneeze, simply cover your cough or sneeze by using your elbow or sleeve.

Wash Your Hands

Germs are everywhere and they can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours or more. Taking the time to properly wash your hands may prevent your family from spreading an infection. Wash your hands with warm water, first rinse hands with water and then apply antibacterial soap. Be sure to lather hands, wrists, fingers and under fingernails. Clean your hands for 20 seconds and rinse with clean water, and then dry them completely with a clean towel.

Stay Home if You re Sick

If you have fever, which is considered a temperature of anything above 100.4, stay home until 24 hours after the fever is gone without the use of fever- reducing medications. Staying home decreases the risk of spreading the infection.

Make Healthy Choices

Prepare your body to fight off common colds or the flu. Keep your immune system strong, by eating healthy food, staying active and getting plenty of rest.

Seek Care

Seek care if you or your loved one starts to feel ill. If you or your family member has a fever greater than 100, muscle aches, chills and extreme fatigue, consider making an appointment with a Baptist Medical Group physician or visit Baptist Urgent Care on Nine Mile Road in Pensacola or on Navarre Parkway in Navarre.

For more information about the flu virus or to schedule an appointment call 437-8600 or visit baptistmedicalgroup.org.

This article originally appeared on Santa Rosa Press Gazette: Prevent catching the flu


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