Dr. Chris Jude: Tips to stay healthy during flu season
With Christmas and family gatherings just days away, flu activity continues to surge across Kentucky. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Kentucky is still at its highest level, outpacing all neighboring states except Tennessee.
So far, at least 15 million Americans have been diagnosed with the flu. Across the United States, there were nine influenza-associated pediatric deaths reported last week, bringing the total to 30 so far this flu season.
“We’re on track to easily have the worst flu season in more than a decade here in eastern Kentucky,” said Doctor Chris Jude, Medical Director at Pioneer Rural Health Clinic. “We urge people to see a medical professional no matter how faint of symptoms they may have.”
The flu virus is spread by people who are ill through airborne droplets emitted by coughing and sneezing. You also may contract the flu by touching objects contaminated with the virus. Symptoms include; fever, cough, runny or stuffy nose, fatigue, muscle or body aches, and some people may experience vomiting and diarrhea.
“Most people who have tested positive have had Flu A,” added Dr. Jude. “This Flu strain appears to be affecting children worse, and they have had a longer recovery than usual.”
Doctor Jude encourages people to practice good health habits to prevent the flu virus from spreading such as:
Wash hands with soap and water for 15 to 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Avoid close contact with people who are or appear to be sick.
Stay home from work, school, errands, or family functions while sick.
Remind children to practice healthy habits because germs spread easily at school or in childcare settings.