With speculation of model/actress, Kim Porter’s, recent death being attributed to the flu or possibly pneumonia, we are reminding our Undercover Agents to be vigilant with their health during the holiday travel season. Richard Webby, Ph.D., a member of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s Infectious Diseases Department and one of a select group of scientists responsible for determining the composition of flu vaccines each year, shares important tips for protecting you and your family. “While the flu vaccine is the No. 1 way to protect yourself, there are other basic, lifesaving precautions you can take to minimize risk and help control spread of the virus,” Webby said. “This holiday season while millions of people travel, practicing a few simple steps can help combat the dangerous flu virus. Whether in the airport, on a train or in the car, we can all do our part to protect ourselves and our neighbors, while looking out for the most vulnerable members of our society.”
- Get the flu vaccine as soon as it is available to you and your family. Having all members of your family vaccinated helps provide a circle of protection. All members of the family 6 months or older are recommended to receive an annual flu vaccine.
- Clean your hands often with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. The flu is spread from person to person through coughing or sneezing. If you are near an infected person who is coughing or sneezing, you might breathe in the flu virus. You might also become infected through touching.
- Stay home if you’re sick. Until you are free of symptoms and a fever for 24 hours, you may still remain contagious. Cold and flu symptoms include coughing, sneezing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills or fatigue. It is possible for people infected with a flu virus to infect others even a day before symptoms appear.
- Cover your mouth and nose. If you have to cough or sneeze, cover your face with your arm or a tissue. Then throw the tissue away and clean your hands. If you or a family member has a fever along with symptoms and has to leave the house, consider using a face mask in public to help control spreading the virus.
- Avoid touching your nose and mouth. Touching objects like door handles or toys that have flu virus on them and then touching your mouth or nose is a prime way the flu virus spreads from person to person.