No Flu Shot? Take Other Steps to Avoid the Flu This Winter

Marshfield Clinic Offers Prevention Tips in Response to Vaccine Shortage

Oct 06, 2004, 01:00 ET from Marshfield Clinic

    MARSHFIELD, Wis., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to news of a flu
 vaccine shortage, public health officials urge younger, healthier individuals
 to forgo vaccines. The challenge now is to educate the public on other ways to
 avoid the flu, according to Dr. Michele Bachhuber, Internal Medicine
 Specialist at Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield, Wis.
     "The best ways to avoid the flu are common-sense measures, but they're
 often not put into practice. Simple things like washing your hands and using a
 tissue when you sneeze or cough can really make a difference when it comes to
 flu prevention," Bachhuber said.
     Bachhuber offers the following advice:
     -- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, especially if you come in to
        contact with common areas such as doorknobs, telephones, public
        restrooms, automated teller machines and elevator buttons.
     -- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
     -- Get plenty of rest. Overdoing it can result in a weakened immune
     -- Use disposable tissues instead of handkerchiefs to avoid spreading
     -- Encourage ill colleagues to stay home and rest. Avoiding close contact
        with people who are sick is one of your best lines of defense.
     -- Drink lots of water to protect the inner mucous linings of the
        respiratory tract, which can defend against cold and flu viruses.
     -- Avoid sharing food, eating utensils, drinking glasses, pens and
        pencils, towels or other personal items with others.
     -- Teach your children to cover their coughs and sneezes, and practice
        what you preach.  Cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue or the
        inside of your elbow if a tissue is unavailable.
     -- Hit the produce section. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to
        help your immune system fight viruses.
     The Marshfield Clinic system consists of 39 patient care, research and
 education facilities in northern, central and western Wisconsin, making it one
 of the largest comprehensive medical systems in the United States.
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SOURCE Marshfield Clinic