State Epidemiologist, Dr. Tom Safranek, worries all those family gatherings at Christmas set us up for sickness and he warns, if you feel sick, stay away.
“You need to minimize your contact with other individuals,” Safranek tells Nebraska Radio Network. “You certainly want to avoid things like hand shaking and situations you’re going to end up contaminating things that could lead to other people picking up the virus and getting an infection.”
Flu season came early to Nebraska this year, catching many off-guard. Safranek is concerned the combination of an early flu season and the hectic pace of the Christmas holiday season has kept some Nebraskans from getting their flu shot, the best way to avoid getting influenza. He advises everyone at least six-months-old to get a flu shot, but especially the very young and the very old, as well as pregnant women and those suffering from chronic conditions, especially those that affect the lungs.
You cannot predict which relatives might or might not be sick when you all get together, so Safranek says to take precautions, such frequently washing your hands.
“And, then, in general just staying healthy,” Safranek says. “You know, good dietary habits, staying hydrated, managing stress, and trying to get some rest.”
For more information on the flu, click here for the DHHS website.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]