Spread joy, not germs: stay healthy this hol­i­day sea­son

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Prairies - COUR­TESY AHS

’Tis the sea­son for not-so-joy­ful germs. With sea­sonal ill­ness cir­cu­lat­ing, re­mem­ber to pro­tect your health and pre­vent ill­ness.

Get im­mu­nized: Im­mu­niza­tion is the sin­gle most ef­fec­tive way of pro­tect­ing your­self against in­fluenza viruses al­ready cir­cu­lat­ing in our com­mu­ni­ties.

It’s not too late to be im­mu­nized. Vac­cine con­tin­ues to be of­fered to all Al­ber­tans (six months of age and older), free of charge.

Re­mem­ber: it takes up to two weeks af­ter re­ceiv­ing your in­fluenza im­mu­niza­tion to be pro­tected against in­fluenza, so make plans to get your vac­cine to­day!

Cover your cough: Cover your nose and mouth with a tis­sue when sneez­ing or cough­ing. If you don't have a tis­sue, al­ways cough or sneeze into your arm, not into your hands. Throw away tis­sues af­ter wip­ing your nose or cov­er­ing a cough, and wash your hands.

Clean your hands: Us­ing soap and warm wa­ter wash your hands thor­oughly and of­ten, in­clud­ing af­ter cough­ing, sneez­ing, us­ing tis­sues or the wash­room, and be­fore eat­ing or pre­par­ing food. Al­co­hol-based hand rub or san­i­tizer can also be help­ful if hands are not vis­i­bly

soiled. Clean or dirty: al­ways try to keep your hands and fin­gers away from your eyes, nose and mouth.

Stay home if you are sick: If you’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ill­ness, in­clud­ing fever, cough, di­ar­rhea and/or vom­it­ing, stay home from work, school, day­care or any so­cial func­tion. Please also do not visit fam­ily, friends or loved ones in hos­pi­tals, care fa­cil­i­ties or se­niors lodges, un­til you have fully re­cov­ered.

Mind your food prep: If you are sick, do not pre­pare food for any­one, un­til fully re­cov­ered. When you are cook­ing, al­ways keep safe food­han­dling prac­tices top of mind. To help you with the turkey task, fol­low AHS’ Turkey Tips: www.al­ber­ta­health­ser­vices.ca/turkeytips.asp

Around the house: Keep house­hold sur­faces clean, us­ing a house­hold cleaner. Think cre­atively when host­ing gath­er­ings: put a bow on a hand san­i­tizer pump and leave it out for guests to use; choose pre­wrapped can­dies or sin­gle serve food items in­stead of of­fer­ing bowls of un­wrapped snacks to all. Al­ways thank oth­ers for de­clin­ing in­vites due to ill­ness.

Year-round: Keep your­self in good health by cov­er­ing the basics: get enough rest, eat a bal­anced diet in­clud­ing at least five serv­ings of fruit and veg­eta­ble­seach day, and ex­er­cise reg­u­larly. Fi­nally, if you drink al­co­hol, do so in mod­er­a­tion and don’t drink and drive.

For more in­for­ma­tion on these and other well­ness top­ics, visit www.my­health.al­berta.ca, or call Health Link at 811.

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