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With the number of influenza cases increasing county wide, Klamath County Public Health (KCPH) would like to help the community understand how to prevent getting and spreading the flu.

February is usually the seasonal peak of the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

KCPH and CDC both recommend getting the flu shot. It is not too late to get one. Here are some tips to prevent spreading germs:

n Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

n While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

n If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.

n Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. After using a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.

n Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

n Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

n Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu.

Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people, especially children, may have vomiting and diarrhea. People may also be infected with flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

Flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone.

In general, flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms are more intense. Colds are usually milder than flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.

“The best way to prevent flu is to be vaccinated, and the second-best is to routinely wash your hands,” said KCPH Director Jennifer Little.