Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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Oct. 27, 2004

Tips for Preventing Colds and Flu

The shortage of flu vaccine this year is causing alarm in many individuals. The Oswego County Health Department reminds residents that there are several steps that adults and children can take to prevent the spread of colds and flu.

"The flu is spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks and the virus goes into the air, or when people touch something with flu virus on it. To prevent the spread of germs that cause cold and flu, we advise parents to keep their children home from school when they are sick, and adults to stay home from work when they have flu symptoms," said Kathleen Smith, Oswego County Health Commissioner.

Oswego County is on a waiting list to receive a limited supply of flu vaccine. Announcements will be made through the news media, the flu-shot hotline at 349-3545, and the Oswego County website at www.oswegocounty.com.

The health department suggests that people take these steps to prevent the spread of flu and cold germs:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Use tissues to cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough. Then throw them away.
  • Do not touch your face. Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Stay away from crowds when people in your community have the flu.
  • Clean and disinfect telephones, keyboards and door handles.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Flu symptoms include high fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, stomach upset, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. People who have sudden onset of these symptoms should contact their health care provider.

The Oswego County Health Department has distributed a variety of educational materials to schools throughout the county about preventing the spread of flu. Businesses, industries and groups that would like to receive a packet may contact Diane Oldenburg, public health educator, at 349-3587 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3587.

Information is also available on the Centers for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov/flu.

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