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Tips to stay healthy with the changing of the weather

The most recent weekly Respiratory Virus Report released from The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services states that Hunterdon County has a “HIGH” level or “Widespread” influenza activity. The Hunterdon County Division of Public Health works in partnership with NJDHSS to provide information from local schools, long-term care facilities, and health care facilities to determine the presence of influenza in our community.

“Although the weather is warming up, it is important to take steps to keep from the getting the flu and other respiratory viruses,” advises Karen DeMarco, Health Officer for Hunterdon County.

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms: fever* or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches and fatigue, and some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits–covering coughs and washing hands– often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. There also are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent the flu.

Other ways to prevent the spread of the flu are to avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home when sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when under the weather. Also avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

Be sure to practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

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