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Staying Healthy During Flu Season
Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Five to twenty percent of Americans are diagnosed with influenza each year. So what do you need to know to keep you and your family healthy?
The flu is a seasonal contagious respiratory illness that affects millions of people each year.
There are ways you can protect yourself. The best way to fight off the flu is by getting a flu shot.
"Flu shots are a virus that we've deactivated, for lack of a better word, that we inject into the person's body that helps them build up antibodies against those strains that we've identified the year before. They don't contain all of the influenza virus strains; they just contain a few," said Kurt Hefner, from Kurt’s Pharmacy.
One of the biggest misconceptions about the flu shot is that it makes you sick.
"It can give you some flu like symptoms for a day or two. They are very mild. Most people don't experience any symptoms. Some people say it makes them feel kind of achy. But think about it, now you are preventing from getting those strains that later on you would be much sicker," Hefner said.
But if you don't want the flu shot, there are still other ways to fight off the flu.
Jona Ward, Twin Falls School District nurse says, "Washing your hands is the number one most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses."
In addition to washing your hands, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or with your sleeve can stop the spread of bacteria.
There are certain criteria that the Twin Falls School District recommends when considering whether to keep your sick kid home from school.
"If you have a sick child, your child should probably stay home from school if their temperature is 101 or greater, if they are coughing a lot, if they are really unable to engage in classroom activities," Ward said.
Ways to keep you healthy and flu free.