By Marianne Scott Rushville Republican
---- — It’s that time of year again. Along with all the holidays and festive seasonal celebrations, we also get our annual “flu epidemic.” While Rush County Schools have not seen an increase in absence due to the flu, all are urged to be vigilant now so that future illness can be avoided.
Most folks who get the flu recover after a few days. Others, whose immune systems are taxed beyond measure, find it very difficult to fight influenza. So it is imperative that precautionary measures are not only in place at our schools, but also at home and in our places of business. If at all possible, get a flu shot. Many area drug stores offer flu shots on site or contact your family doctor.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Lack a tissue? Cough or sneeze into your sleeve (and yes that shirt is not good for another day – throw it in the washer)
• Wash your hands often with soap and water. Practice an effective hand washing technique. For instance sing a song in your mind that gives you an adequate amount of time to truly wash your hands (ABC’s works well for little ones – for adults sing the school fight song). If soap is unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs are great at spreading this way.
• Avoid close contact with sick people.
• If you are sick with a flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
• To keep your immune system healthy, get enough sleep, eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, exercise regularly, drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and keep stress levels to a minimum.