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Prevent flu by vaccination, hand washing: WHO

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Representational Image

Rohit Shishodia
Getting vaccination, washing hands properly and regularly, avoiding touching eyes, nose, and being around sick people and staying home if one feels unwell, can prevent influenza or seasonal flu that is marked by fever, a dry cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, a sore throat and a runny nose.

This has been advised by the World Health Organization (WHO) in an advisory. The UN agency has stated that annual vaccination is the most effective way to protect against flu, and serious complications.

“Vaccination is especially important for pregnant women, at any stage of pregnancy, for children aged 6 months to 5 years, elderly people, those suffering with chronic medical conditions, and for health care workers,” said the WHO.

The WHO pointed out that washing hands protects against many infections, including flu. Hence, one should keep hands clean, which is an easy way to keep oneself and family healthy.

“An individual should wash hands with soap and running water regularly and dry them thoroughly with a single-use towel. One can also use an alcohol-based handrub if one can’t get to soap and water,” suggested the WHO.

The WHO said that the germs are most likely to enter the body through the eyes, nose and mouth. One can’t control everything one inhales, but one can reduce the risk of infection by keeping hands away from face.

“Flu is contagious. It spreads easily in crowded spaces, such as on public transport, in schools and nursing homes and during public events. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, droplets containing the virus can spread as far as one metre, and infect others who breathe them in. Therefore, a person should stay away from sick individuals,” advised the UN’s health agency.

“If one is ill with flu, being around others puts them at risk. This is especially true for people with chronic medical conditions like cancer, heart disease and HIV. One should quickly isolate oneself which can help in preventing the spread of flu and save lives,” suggested the WHO.


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