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Thursday, August 28, 2014
Prevention is key to beating the flu
(Page 2 of 2)
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Getting vaccinated for the flu and avoiding exposure to people with the illness are the best ways to avoid getting it, medical experts say.

Prasad said prevention is key to beat the flu and anyone over six months old, including pregnant women, should get vaccinated. “It takes about 10 to 14 days for peak immunization to develop,” he said. “If someone in their home has the flu, a person can go to their doctor or the emergency room to get medication that will prevent or diminish their risk of getting it. If someone has the flu they can take medication within the first 24 to 36 hours that will reduce their symptoms.”

To prevent getting the flu, Prasad recommends avoiding exposure to someone who has it as particles are expelled into the air when a person sneezes or coughs and wash your hands frequently. “If you’re sick, you should not go to work or school to prevent exposing others,” he said. “And get plenty of rest, fluids and take ibuprofen.”

Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools has seen an increase of flu cases and flu-like symptoms in the past few weeks, according to Nurse Coordinator Bonnie Rashbaum. “Since the epidemic of swine flu [in 2009] our schools have installed hand sanitizer wall units located throughout each building, as well as signs to remind students and staff to wash their hands,” she said. “It is also stressed to cover mouths and nasal airways when coughing or sneezing.”

Classroom teachers may send students who are coughing and sneezing in class to the nurse’s office, according to Rashbaum, who then evaluates each child and calls their parents, if needed. “Parents are encouraged to take their child to their primary care physician for further evaluation and are told to keep their child home until they are symptom-free for 24 hours or per their medical professional advice,” she said.

Prasad said primary care doctors’ office and pharmacies are the best places to receive flu shots. “We don’t recommend that people go to the emergency room to get it as they are overcrowded; it’s not the right place,” he said. “Your primary physician as well as pharmacists can administer the flu

vaccine.”

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