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Protect yourself, community from flu

Smoky Mountain Times - 11/2/2017

Heading out of October and into November, flu season isn't just something we need to prepare for-it's here.

At Swain Community Hospital, our mission is "Making Communities Healthier." That means we want to ensure that we do everything we can to prevent the spread of this serious illness and help you stay healthy for the busy months ahead. So, we encourage you to make flu prevention part of your routine.

Get Vaccinated

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly influenza vaccination for everyone six months of age and older as the first and best form of prevention against the flu. Studies show that, not only can the flu vaccine reduce your risk of illness by about 50 to 60 percent, but it can also make your illness milder, should you contract the flu, resulting in fewer doctor visits, less time missed from your daily routines and fewer flu-related hospitalizations. And by preventing the spread of the virus, you're helping others in your community stay healthy, like older people, pregnant women, young children and those with health conditions who are especially vulnerable to serious complications from this illness.

Getting a flu shot is a minor interruption in your schedule, but one whose benefits far outweigh the temporary inconvenience. To get vaccinated, you can visit the Public Health Department, a walk-in clinic or pharmacy, or your primary care physician. If you don't have a primary care physician, visit us at MySwainCommunity.com or call us at 844.414.DOCS and we'll get you connected to the right care.

The Next Steps

While getting vaccinated is the first and most important line of defense against contracting and spreading of the flu virus, prevention doesn't stop there. There are some additional measures you can take to help prevent the flu for you and others.

-Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol-based.

-Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

-Avoid sharing food, cups or eating utensils.

-Disinfect your home and belongings, such as door knobs, light switches, children's toys and play areas.

-Stay home from school or work if you are sick to prevent the spread of germs.

-Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a tissue, your sleeve or elbow, and NOT your bare hands.

-Get a flu shot.


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