Scary stories about the flu swirl around like the germs in sneezes and coughing. Reliable and up-to-date information on the H1N1 flu, commonly called the swine flu, can be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) dedicated website: 2009 H1N1 Flu http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/. The website includes how to care for a sick person, information on vaccines and antiviral medication, and recommendations for specific groups. There is a map that tracks reported flu across the U.S. (Tennessee was one of 11 states reporting widespread flu activity during the first week of September.) Everyday actions to stay healthy include
• Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
• Washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
• Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
• Staying home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.