EDITOR'S NOTE: This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages throughout the flu season. Readers interested in knowing more about this topic are urged to visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu or www.flu.gov.
Q: What are the best things we can do over the holidays to safeguard against the flu?
A: At the end of the year families and friends often gather to celebrate. In wintery weather, we gather indoors to share good times and good meals. While it is important to honor traditions and enjoy parties, there are ways we can be health smart during this pandemic flu season. The best defense against the flu is vaccination. Here are a few additional suggestions we should follow:
• Stay home from the party if you are ill. You will be doing yourself and others a favor by resting and getting better alone at home. Once your fever has been gone for 24 hours without the assistance of fever-breaking medicine, it's OK to resume social activities.
• Wash your hands a lot with soap and warm water. Wash them every time after being out in public; before eating; after touching things like money, doorknobs and stairway railings; and after blowing your nose or sneezing (which of course you did with a tissue and immediately threw the tissue away).
• If a sneeze or cough sneaks up on you, please use the bend of your arm rather than your hands to cover. When you need to use a tissue, be sure to discard it in the trash right away, and then wash your hands.
• Pamper and take extra good care of yourself. Get enough rest, eat sensibly, go easy on the cocktails, dress appropriately for the weather, and try to keep your stress level down. When we forget these practices, we seem to be more susceptible to catching things.
• When you go out in public, practice social distancing. Public health professionals encourage people to keep physical distance from each other during disease outbreaks to slow the rate of infection. You can do this by avoiding dense crowds and steering clear of those who appear ill.
This holiday season, celebrate, enjoy being with people, and spread the love but not the germs.
CARSON CITY AREA H1N1 VACCINE CLINICS
NOTE: Carson City Health and Human Services began offering H1N1 vaccine to all persons Dec. 21. There will be a community-wide vaccine clinic on Saturday, January 9 at the Carson Mall from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There is no cost for the vaccine.
Who: The General Public along with all Priority Groups
Where: Carson City Health and Human Services, 900 East Long Street, Carson, NV
When: Mondays 1-4:30 p.m.
Thursdays 8:30 -11:30 a.m.; 1-4:30 p.m.
Who: The General Public
Where: Carson Mall, 1313 South Carson Street
When: Saturday, Jan. 9, 9-1 p.m.
• Small Blessings Day Care (2nd Dose): Jan. 4
• Kids Klub Day Care (2nd Dose): Jan. 4
• ABC Learning Center (2nd Dose): Jan. 4
• Little Knights and Maidens Day Care (2nd Dose): Jan. 5
• Wilseya 4 Fun Day Care (2nd Dose): Jan. 5
Some physicians and health care providers in the community have received supplies of the vaccine. People who fall into the priority groups can contact their health care provider to see if the vaccine is available.
• Pam Graber is the public information officer for Carson City Health and Human Services.