Spread joy, not germs; stay healthy this Christmas season

Rebecca Johnson
Alberta Health Services

’Tis the season of fun holiday get-togethers but unfortunately it’s also 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 up), 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! For more information, visit albertahealthservices.ca/influenza or call Health Link at 811.

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.

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