Allegheny County health department tips to avoid the flu

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The Allegheny County Health Department offers these tips to help fight the flu and stop its spread:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

• Avoid people who are sick. If you're sick, stay home from work or school.

• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and throw away the tissue immediately. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth after touching any objects or surfaces that might be contaminated

If you do get sick and are otherwise in good health:

• Get plenty of rest, drink a lot of liquids and avoid using alcohol and tobacco.

• Take medicine to relieve the symptoms, but never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, especially a fever, without first talking to a doctor.

• If your symptoms are unusually severe - for example, you're having difficulty breathing - consult a health care provider right away.

For those who are at special risk from complications, such as people age 65 or older, those with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women and children younger than 2:

• Consult a health care provider when flu symptoms begin.

• Certain prescription drugs may be used to lessen the severity and duration of the illness if taken within 24 to 48 hours of onset of symptoms.

For more information: www.achd.net.

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