Flu season has arrived in the Hudson Valley

Learn about what you can do to stay healthy and stop the spread of flu

Jan 7, 2011

Cortlandt Manor, NY

Flu season is here, and with it the fever, chills and missed work and school days.

Cases of influenza are on the rise in the Hudson Valley, but the good news is that if you don’t already have the flu, there are steps you can take to stay healthy.

"The best way to keep from getting the flu is to get vaccinated," said Barbara Savatteri, RN, CIC, Director of Infection Control/Employee Health at NewYork-Presbyterian/Hudson Valley Hospital. "Speak to your healthcare provider about the flu vaccine. The vaccine is widely available this year and if you haven’t been vaccinated yet, it’s not too late."

Savatteri said the vaccine will provide good protection against the flu since it was designed to prevent the Type A influenza, which is the strain that is prevalent this year. Unlike last year, cases of the H1N1 strain are not much of a factor this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here are some other ways to keep yourself and others healthy during flu season:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizers.
  • Clean common use items such as telephones, computer key boards, remote controls devices. Do not share personal items such as drinking cups, towels etc.
  • Get plenty of sleep, eat healthy foods, drink plenty of fluids, stay physically active, and manage stress.

If you get sick with the flu or cold:

  • Stay home to prevent spreading the illness.
  • Keep a distance from others.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing; wash your hands immediately with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub. If a tissue is not available cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
  • Ask your doctor about antiviral medications which can be used to prevent and treat the flu.
  • Seek medical attention if the symptoms become severe, especially if you have other health conditions that may put you at risk.

For additional information about the Flu you can go to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at: http://www.flu.gov/ or the New York State Department of Health website at: http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/influenza/fact_sheet.htm.