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Do your part to stop the spread of flu

Dec 13, 2019

Flu season is in full swing – but who has time to get sick during this busy time of year?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year the flu causes employees to miss approximately 17 million workdays, totaling $7 billion in sick days and lost productivity. The annual direct costs of the flu, including hospital or doctor’s office visits and medications, totals $4.6 billion in the United States, according to the CDC.

Flu is more than an inconvenience, though. Many people -- young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease, and people 65 years and older —are at risk for serious complications from the flu.

But flu is preventable. These simple steps can help you stay healthy and keep others from getting sick.

  • Get a flu shot. Everyone ages 6 months and older should get one each year.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water to reduce the spread of germs.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, stay home from work or school.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that may carry germs.

May your holiday season be flu-free, and best wishes for a happy and healthy start to 2020!

Dr. O’dell Moreno Owens is the president and chief executive officer of Interact for Health and InterAct for Change. Dr. Owens is a reproductive endocrinologist. He earned an MD, an OB/GYN residency and a master’s of public health degree from Yale University School of Medicine. He also obtained a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology at Harvard Medical School. In recent years, Dr. Owens has served as the Hamilton County Coroner, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College President, and Interim Health Commissioner and Medical Director of the Cincinnati Health Department. 

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