Stethoscope

While schools, colleges and doctor's offices are seeing an uptick in confirmed flu cases this season, health professionals are offering up healthy hygiene tips to not only prevent the flu, but what one should do if they feel they have the illness. 

The Raleigh County Health Department's Director of Nurses Candy Hurd told The Register-Herald the number one thing an individual can do to prevent the flu is getting the flu shot vaccine. 

However, if one doesn't receive the vaccine, she offered up additional tips on how to stay healthy during flu season. 

"Hand hygiene is extremely important," Hurd said. "Always, always wash your hands with soap and water several times a day." 

During flu season, keep tissues on deck, she said, because if you feel a sneeze or cough coming about, it's important to do so into a tissue. If one doesn't have a tissue, they are urged to cough or sneeze into their arm and never into their hands. 

"It is also helpful to disinfect light switches, door knobs, and other things you touch often," she said. 

If an individual feels they have the flu virus, or feels they are developing the first signs of flu symptoms, Hurd said they are urged to contact their family doctor to determine if they need an evaluation or antivirals. 

"If you are sick be sure to stay home from school or work until you are symptom free without the use of fever reducing medication for 24 hours," Hurd said. 

Hurd said she is unsure of an exact number of confirmed flu cases the Raleigh County Health Department has seen so far this season, however, she knows its too many to count. 

"We have vaccinated approximately 2,000 individuals this flu season," she said. "Right now, at this time, the flu is categorized as wide-spread all throughout the state. 

— Email: jnelson@register-herald.com; follow on Twitter @jnelsonRH

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