My local Target store made the change in the blink of an eye: one day it was Christmas cards as far as the eye could see, and the next it was a sea of ruby red valentines addressed to everyone from your spouse to your cat.
Outside of the store, however, we know somewhere in between the two celebrations comes flu season. The Lake County Health Department is reporting that flu activity nationwide is low at this time, but it’s expected to increase in the coming weeks. Here are a few tips from the Health Department to keep you, your staff and your family healthy this winter.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. If no tissue is available, sneeze into your sleeve or the crook of your elbow.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand-rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to 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 except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
The bottom line, the Health Department says, is that people can be exposed to respiratory viruses anywhere. The best thing is to proactively practice prevention techniques to avoid illness.
(And Mom always said to have a few cans of soup in the pantry. It can’t hurt.)