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December 20, 2017

Tis the Season

The Holidays should be a happy time of year, but sometimes Mother Nature throws us a curve ball.  This year she has decked our halls with balls of flu like illnesses that caused our schools to shut down two days early and lots and lots of people to get sick. It is likely to get worse for Lawrence County before it gets better. Kleenex boxes and flu medicines might just be the most welcome items for Santa to put in our stockings. If anyone has ever been really sick at Christmas it is a terrible feeling to sit down at the holiday table and prefer a bowl of chicken noodle soup over the festive fare.  Since Santa does not control this, there is no difference if you have been naughty or nice- the flu is gonna getcha regardless.

Ok, doom and gloom time is over. There’s got to be a way to fight back and protect your Holidays- Right?  Yes there is!  There are very simple, commonsense ways to stay healthy so you can enjoy the months of paying off your credit cards for your gift giving generosity.  Let’s take a look at them.


  WASH YOUR HANDS! You have heard this over and over again. The reason why is because it really works. Vigorous washing with plenty of soap and water works wonders against the flu and other flu-like viruses. So every time you venture out to a store or public place be sure to wash your hands before or directly after you get home.


  LIMIT YOUR PUBLIC EXPOSURE. You can’t get sick unless you come into contact with someone else who is sick.  Plan your outings wisely. Try to include as many of your “absolutely have to” stops in one trip.  Avoid unnecessary crowds. Maybe it would be best to wait and see that new film until most of the people watching it with you aren’t  illness spreading time bombs. Avoid kisses and hugs and in your face contact with anyone who you suspect might be sick. Yes, that means it is a good idea to retire the mistletoe this year.



clothing, towels and any type of fabric. If you go out for the day try to change your clothes as quickly as you can when you get home.  Think of how bad you would feel your loved ones got sick because you let them hug and interact with clothes that could make them sick. Change your hand towels as often as you can and if someone in the household is already sick, give them a separate hand towel to use.


  KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR FLU-LIKE SYMPTOMS. There is a big difference from the flu and a cold. The flu makes you exhausted, feverous, headachy, and just plain more miserable than you can imagine. If you suspect that you might be coming down with the flu it is important to seek medical attention right away. Tamiflu is available prescription to combat the effects of the flu virus, but it must be taken at the onset of the illness in order to work. Once you are down and out with the flu it is just something you have to ride  out

The holidays do not have to be lost due to some creatures that you can’t even see. Be smart and be prepared. With a few simple precautions and a slight change of routine you can be healthy enough to watch your loved ones be disappointed with the gifts you bought them and wish your in laws knew how to smoke a turkey instead of the usual oven bake. The holidays are a rare time during the year to get some extra time off from work and to enjoy friends and family. Don’t waste your holiday delirious in bed watching everyone else having fun.   

If you need more advice in how to stay healthy over the holidays please contact the nursing staff at the Lawrence County Health Department at 606-638-4389.

Ron Enders, PhD.
Preparedness Coordintor, MRC Coordinator


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