Wintertime is here, and healthwise that means flu season is here. State health officials are urging Hoosiers to be prepared and take preventative steps as influenza — the flu — can be dangerous.
“Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to avoid the flu,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Gregory Larkin. The vaccine also comes in a nasal spray for people who do not like shots. Individuals should also practice frequent, thorough hand washing and avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth without washing their hands first.”
The flu is a viral infection of the respiratory tract. It is spread by respiratory droplets from close contact with infected persons or contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. Infection can occur when influenza viruses contact the eyes, mouth or nose and possibly through inhaling droplets from a sneeze or cough.
Currently, Indiana is having normal flu activity, but the Indiana State Department of Health is expecting to see an increase in flu cases as the season continues.
Symptoms of the flu include:
• fever 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or greater
• muscle aches
• sore throat
Although anyone can get the flu, some people are at higher risk of developing complications related to the flu, including hospitalization and death. High-risk individuals include pregnant women, young children (especially those too young to get vaccinated), people with chronic illnesses and/or compromised immune systems and the elderly.
“It’s not too late to get vaccinated,” Larkin said. “The best time is now, but Hoosiers can still get vaccinated through the winter months.”
The Indiana State Department of Health suggests following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation that everyone over the age of six months get the vaccine this year — not just those who are at the highest risk.
To help stop the spread of the flu and other respiratory diseases like pertussis (whooping cough), state health officials encourage using the three “C’s.”
• Clean: Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water.
• Cover: Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm or a disposable tissue.
• Contain: Stay home from school/work when you are sick to keep your germs from spreading.
Additionally, another ailment often associated with the flu, “stomach flu” or viral gastroenteritis, is not actually flu at all. It is a viral infection of the intestinal tract. It is spread through eating or drinking contaminated food or drink or by close contact with an infected person.
Unfortunately, flu shots won’t prevent viral gastroenteritis, but prevention does include frequent hand washing, disinfecting contaminated surfaces and prompt washing of soiled clothing.
Also, avoid preparing food if ill with gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting.
For more information on influenza and the seasonal flu vaccine, visit www.in.gov/isdh/25462.htm.
- Health & Fitness
Skin cancer is next Dine with a Doc topic
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Support Groups: May 15, 2013
Cancer Friendship Group, featuring a journaling workshop with therapeutic writer Nia Klein, 10 to 11 a.m. on Tuesday, conference room B, Paris Community Hospital/Family Medical Center; 217-465-2606, ext. 290.
Protect yourself from skin cancer
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and Monday was designated as Melanoma Monday to help raise awareness of melanoma and other skin cancers. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. and affects more people than lung, breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.
Paris Hospital Volunteers' chocolate sale is May 23-24
The Paris Community Hospital Volunteers will sponsor a South Bend Chocolate Company sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 23 and 24 near the FMC rotunda entrance.
Stay safe during flooding with tips
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Support groups: May 8, 2013
Wabash Valley Breast Cancer Survivors Inc.,
Journal writing workshop coming up at Paris hospital
Therapeutic writer Nia Klein will conduct a journal writing workshop at the Cancer Friendship Group meeting at 10 a.m. May 21 in conference room B at Paris Community Hospital/Family Medical Center.
Church to sponsor blood drive
Trinity Lutheran Church is sponsoring a blood drive from 3 to 7 p.m. on Monday in Fellowship Hall at the church, 2620 Ohio Blvd.
Walk to bring hope to bereaved families, awareness
Compassionate Friends of the Wabash Valley are sponsoring a “Walk to Remember,” to support families after a child dies, from 2 to 5 p.m. on May 18 at Larrison Pavilion in Deming Park.
Dine with a Doc to feature ISU professor
A free Dine with a Doc event, featuring Lisa Borrero Ph.D., is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday at Providence Housing Corp. All Place in West Terre Haute.
Free Vial of Life kits available in Paris
In recognition of National Hospital Week in May, Paris Community Hospital/Family Medical Center will provide free Vial of Life kits to the community.
Free Zumba Gold presentation offered
The Maple Center for Integrative Health and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute offer a free presentation on Zumba Gold by Cathleen Drobny from 1 to 3:30 p.m. May 1 in Westminster Village at 1120 East Davis Drive.
Senior Menu: April 24, 2013
Reservations are required 24 hours in advance at all senior citizens dining sites in Vigo, Clay, Parke, Vermillion, Sullivan and Putnam counties.
Child Passenger Safety Tech course coming up
A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration certification course for child passenger safety will be conducted from 8 AM to 5 PM on May 2, 3, 10, and 11.
Health briefs: April 24, 2013
‘Alzheimer’s for Caregivers: Late Stage’ presentation set for May
Crawford County Triathlon slated for May 25
Lincoln Trail College and Ecton Hardware are hosting the Crawford County Triathlon on May 25 at the college.
April 26 sharing session to be therapeutic for Parkinson’s patients
Strength in numbers.
That concept underlies the theme of a gathering Friday, April 26 in Westminster Village. People afflicted with Parkinson’s disease, and friends and family who care for those ailing folks, will share their stories of their struggles and successes with the progressive disorder that touches more than 1 million American lives.
Get a hair cut and health screenings all in one stop
Visiting the barber shop today could mean more than just getting a haircut; it might save your life.
Dine with a Doc to feature Dr. Roland Kohr
Another Dine with a Doc event is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Providence Housing Corporation All Place, 219 North Providence Place, West Terre Haute.
Hunter education course scheduled this weekend
An Indiana Hunter Education Course is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday-Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Good Hope Baptist Church, 440 W. County Road 850 S., in Clay City.
Hospice hosting ‘Run and Remember’ fundraiser
Hospice of the Wabash Valley will be hosting a “Run and Remember” fundraising event at 11 a.m. Saturday at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.
Disability Awareness Month events planned
Bridges of Indiana has planned two events in March to celebrate Disability Awareness Month.
Newsmaker: Feb. 20, 2013
Plastic Surgery Practice has announced its new Editorial Advisory Board for 2013. The 12-member board includes several past members and many new names.
Study: Family mealtime can improve kids’ health
When low-income families devote three to four extra minutes to regular family mealtimes, their children’s ability to achieve and maintain a normal weight improves measurably, according to a new University of Illinois study.
Zumba for Kid Kare Project fundraiser on March 2
Zumba with Chelsea Martin, a Kid Kare Project fundraiser, is scheduled 1 to 2 p.m. March 2 in the Community Recreation Center at 301 Blackman St. in Clinton.
Hip implants a bit more likely to fail in women
Hip replacements are slightly more likely to fail in women than in men, according to one of the largest studies of its kind in U.S. patients.
Support Groups: Feb. 20, 2013
For more information and/or sites, contact the numbers listed.
Additional CHIP info session today
The Maple Center for Integrative Health has added an additional CHIP information session before the start of class on March 4.
Champions for Smokefree Pregnancies workshop set
A free workshop for health care providers, social service professionals and other health advocates, Champions for Smokefree Pregnancies in Terre Haute, is scheduled for 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. March 14 in the Landsbaum Center for Health Education.
Plans under way for Clark County Biathlon
Plans for the Clark County Spring Break Biathlon 3.1-mile run/15-mile bike plus the 1-mile fun run/walk are under way.
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