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Marlene Stetson: Flu Prevention

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Dave: The 3WZ Medical Minute is brought to you by Mount Nittany Health. Our topic this week-flu prevention. Our guest, Marlene Stetson, infection prevention and control coordinator with Mount Nittany Health. Marlene, with flu season beginning what can community members do to fight the flu?

Marlene: There are several things we can do to fight the flu. The first, and most important is to get a flu shot. The CDC recommends that everybody who is able get the flu vaccine each year. This year’s vaccine has been tailored to fight the virus strains that are most likely to cause the most illness during the upcoming season. To get the vaccine you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician, or visit a local pharmacy.

Dave: Who should receive the flu vaccine?

Marlene: The CDC recommends that everyone six months of age or older receive the flu vaccine. The flu is very serious, and the CDC estimates that five to twenty percent of the US population will develop the flu this year, leading to more than two hundred thousands hospitalizations and deaths from its related complications. The more people that receive the flu shot, the healthier our communities will be. The flu shot is especially important for some people. Those who are at greater risk for complications from the flu include young children, pregnant women, and those with certain chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart and lung disease.

Dave: Are there any preventive actions community members can take to help avoid the spread of germs?

Marlene: Simply put, clean your hands. Wash with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand rub. That will help prevent the spread of many kinds of germs including the flu. It’s also important to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. If you don’t have time to grab a tissue, you can cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper arm, not into your hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, that’s how these germs enter your body. Avoid close contact with others when they are sick, and when you are sick avoid close contact with others.

Dave: Where can community members get more information on flu prevention?

Marlene: Visit mountnittany.org for more information.

Dave: Marlene Stetson has been our guest on this edition of the Medical Minute. Thank you for your time.

Marlene: Thank you.

Dave: The 3WZ Medical Minute is brought to you by Mount Nittany Health.


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