Submitted by Bedford’s Board of Health Director Heidi Porter
Recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control U.S. surveillance reports indicate that the influenza (flu) season has arrived early and activity is on the rise. The flu is caused by a virus that is easily passed from one person to another by coughing and sneezing. For most people, the flu makes them feel very sick, but they generally get better in about a week. However, young children, people older than 65 years of age, pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions can have serious complications from the flu. These complications can include pneumonia and worsening of medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or asthma.
The number one method of preventing the flu is to GET YOUR FLU SHOT! Flu shots are available by contacting the Board of Health at 781-275-6507. Additionally, the following tips can help protect you, your neighbors, friends, co-workers and family during the regular flu season.
- Wash your hands: Frequent hand washing with soap, warm water and disposable paper towels is best. Alcohol based hand sanitizer is also an effective means to clean your hands. For more information on the importance of hand washing visit: https://www.cdc.gov/CDCTV/HandsTogether/index.html .
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Throw tissues away and wash your hands. Staying home when sick also helps to keep the illness from spreading.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth. This decreases the chance that you will get the flu virus or other germs into your body, or that you will pass the flu to others.
- Clean surfaces that are touched often. Clean objects that are touched often, such as: door or refrigerator handles, computer key boards/mouse, phones, touchscreens and water faucets.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick. Avoid unnecessary contact like holding, kissing or sharing food, dishes and cups with anyone who has a cold or the flu. People with young children, weak immune system or a chronic illness should avoid large crowds, if possible.
For more information or to make an appointment for a flu shot, please contact the Board of Health at 781-275-6507 or visit the MADPH Flu page at www.mass.gov/dph/flu.
This important message was brought to you by the Bedford Board of Health.