FLU AND NOROVIRUS
FLU CLINIC WITH PORTLAND PUBLIC HEALTH
Free open to the public
Where: State of Maine Portland City Hall, 2nd FL.
When: Friday January 18, 2013 10am-2pm
Bring your insurance if you have one
Maine CDC issued a health alert Jan. 9 with an update on flu. Flu activity in Maine is widespread with all three strains of influenza circulating. Flu activity is significantly higher than the 2011-2012 season, and flu levels are expected to remain high for the next several weeks. Vaccination is still strongly encouraged and is widely available, especially to protect people at risk of more severe disease.
Take everyday preventive measures against the flu:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, but especially after coughing and sneezing. Alcohol-based hand gels can also be used.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes. Germs can spread this way.
- Get vaccinated against the flu.
- Consult your health care provider about getting a pneumococcal vaccine for anyone who is younger than 5, between ages 5 and 64 with high risk conditions, or age 65 and older.
- Avoid contact with sick people. If you are at very high risk for complications, you may want to avoid large crowds.
Watch this video on how you can PREVENT the spread of the flu
If you have the flu:
- Stay home if you are sick, until you are fever-free for a full 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medicine.
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow or into a tissue. Throw the tissue away.
- Although most people can stay home to recover without seeing a health care provider, it is possible for healthy people to develop severe illness from the flu. Anyone with the flu should seek medical attention for:
- Trouble breathing
- Getting better, then suddenly getting a lot worse
- Any major change in condition
This year’s flu vaccine appears to be a good match to the circulating strains, and it is not too late to get vaccinated. To find locations where vaccine is available, call 211 or visit www.211maine.org or www.flu.gov
Since November, Maine CDC has investigated a number of gastroenteritis outbreaks statewide. Norovirus has been identified as the cause in many of the outbreaks. Norovirus infections typically increase during the winter months. Public health partners are encouraged to consider norovirus when assessing clusters of gastroenteritis and to act promptly to prevent the spread of illness.
Norovirus infections are characterized by the abrupt onset of gastrointestinal symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramping. It is highly contagious and is transmitted in stool and vomitus. Exposure can result through direct contact with a person who is ill, by consuming food or liquids that are prepared or handled by an ill person, and through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. The virus can persist on surfaces for prolonged periods at a wide range of temperatures.
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