You can hear it almost everywhere—the sneezing and coughing that are signs of colds and flu infection.
Last month, we noted the spike in inquiries on flu reported by Google's Flu Trends, which has become a good indicator of the sickness' spread. This week, Google's map of the U.S. is a deep red, showing intense interest in key words concerning influenza across the country.
So far, it appears Warren students have escaped the bug—township school officials noted none of the schools have reported any higher than usual absence rates in recent weeks, with the exception of a spike at Angelo L. Tomaso School on Monday (10 percent of the students were absent).
We can continue to stay on the safe side by follwoing these recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control:
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you or your child gets sick with a respiratory illness, like flu, limit contact with others as much as possible to help prevent spreading illness. Stay home (or keep your child home) for at least 24 hours after fever is gone except to seek medical care or for other necessities. Fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
- If an outbreak of flu or another illness occurs, follow public health advice. This may include information about how to increase distance between people and other measures.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. This will block the spread of droplets from your mouth or nose that could contain germs.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
And if you're hoping to get a vaccination to ward off the sickness, you'd better hurry: supplies are running low for this season's vaccine. The Somerset County Department of Health has collected much of the remaining supplies, and is scheduling clinics to use the remaining vaccine—there's one scheduled for 5 p.m to 7 p.m. Jan. 24 at Bridgewater Commons Mall, according to the county's events calendar.
The Department of Health also reports vaccinatiosn available at the Walgreen's Pharmacy.