Southern Ohio Medical Center and Scioto County Health Commissioner Dr. Aaron Adams are urging residents to take precautions against the flu this year, citing a sharp increase in influenza testing since mid-December.
The recent increase in influenza-like illness is mostly tied to the strain Influenza A, which disproportionately affects people under the age of 60, especially those who may be pregnant or overweight.
“Influenza can be serious, but it’s also preventable,” SOMC’s Dr. Adams said. “A flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself, but there are also other everyday preventive measures that can help.”
Simple steps that can stop the spread of germs include:
· Washing hands often with soap and water
· Covering the nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze
· Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
· Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs
“Early detection is the key. If you believe you may have the flu, seek treatment as soon as possible,” SOMC’s Dr. Tim Cassity said. “For those who are healthy, however, you’re better served by avoiding places like hospitals and other high-traffic areas where the flu may be easily spread.”
For more information about how to protect yourself against the flu, visit the Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov.
To find out where you can receive a flu vaccination, contact the Portsmouth City Health Department at 740-353-5153.