Caution can keep you healthier

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 28, 2006

Between this year's flu getting an early start in Alabama and the scare over E. coli in spinach, we have plenty of health problems to worry about this month.

But rather than worry, all we have to do is be proactive to protect ourselves and our families.

The health department advises these tips during flu season:


Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

n If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

n Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

n Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.

n Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

n Some flu vaccines are available for those at high risk for complications from the disease – the elderly, people with compromised immune systems and infants and also caregivers and healthcare workers.

As for spinach, the easiest way to avoid getting sick is to avoid spinach. You probably won't find any on grocery store shelves or in restaurants for a while, so avoiding it won't be difficult.

But the last thing any of us needs to do is panic. Health scares happen all the time. For that matter, flu season comes around every year.

By taking some precautions, we can take care of ourselves and our loved ones.