Flu Prevention Begins with Vaccine, Healthy Habits

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --  With flu season upon us, there are several simple actions Ohioans can take to avoid influenza and keep families healthy.

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"One of the best methods of influenza protection for almost every family member is to get a flu shot as soon as possible," Ronald Charles, M.D., vice president of medical affairs, Buckeye Community Health Plan, said.

Dr. Charles recommends that every family member who is at least six months of age should get a flu vaccine this season.

"It's especially important for people who fall into certain age and health categories to get vaccinated, including people who are at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia if they get sick with the flu, people with medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease, pregnant women, and people 65 years of age and older," Dr. Charles said.

In addition, people who live with or care for individuals who are at high risk of developing serious complications also should get flu shots, he added.

Dr. Charles said that there are other measures people take every day to prevent influenza and the spread of germs. These steps include:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or rub.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. If you do not have a tissue, sneeze or cough into the bend of your arm at the elbow. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
  • If you become sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

"If you are sick with flu-like illness, you should stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. In order to resume normal activity without risk of relapse or passing the virus to others, your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medication," Dr. Charles said.

For more information on influenza and prevention, visit www.cdc.gov/flu/.

About Buckeye Community Health Plan 
Buckeye Community Health Plan is a managed care plan that has been providing services in Ohio since 2004. Buckeye is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Centene Corporation, a leading multi-line healthcare enterprise offering both core Medicaid and specialty services.  Information regarding Buckeye is available via the Internet at www.bchpohio.com. Buckeye can be followed on Twitter as @Buckeye_Health.

SOURCE Buckeye Community Health Plan



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