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Tips to help keep you healthy as flu season hits hard in the Miami Valley

Tips to help keep you healthy as flu season hits hard in the Miami Valley (Photo: MGN Online)

CLARK COUNTY, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - A flu outbreak in Clark County has sent dozens to the hospital, prompting a warning from the health department.

Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said this year the flu strain is mutating, spreading like wildfire.

“That number is way up in the last two weeks,” Patterson said.

During that time, 31 people have been sent to Springfield's hospital. That's five times the number of cases they saw between October 1 and December 17.

Patterson believes family gatherings contributed to the recent outbreak.

“Unfortunately they give that gift that keeps on giving,” Patterson said.

With flu numbers on the rise, local hospitals are putting visitor restrictions policies in place. If you have any respiratory symptoms stay home unless you need treatment

“The primary concern for our hospitals is to get the patients better, more quickly in the safest environment,” Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association President Bryan Bucklew said.

Isolating the virus is the best way to stop it from spreading. Patterson said if you're sick, stay at home.

“We want to make sure that fever breaks before you go back to work or school,” Patterson said.

If you are sick, some effective ways to help prevent the spreading of flu include:

  • Stay home and avoid contact with people for at least 24 hours after your fever subsides without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
  • Restrict visitations at the hospital
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • Take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor recommends them

While vaccination provides the greatest protection against the flu, other effective ways to avoid contracting it include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – germs are usually spread when a person touches something contaminated and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Practice other good health habits. - 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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