Help stop H1N1

Monday, June 8, 2009

The beautiful spring being enjoyed by Southeast Missouri seems like the wrong time to talk about the flu.

But with the H1N1 flu continuing to spread around the world -- and hitting home with a confirmed case in Cape Girardeau County -- there continues to be a need for prudent precautions.

Getting the flu comes from contact with someone who is carrying the virus. Some people are avoiding things like shaking hands, hugging and kissing. That will help. But the most important precaution -- and it cannot be said too often -- is "Wash your hands."

Wash your hands.

This doesn't mean just wash your hands when you shower or bathe. It means washing your hands several times a day. Go to any hospital or doctor's office and watch how everyone working there washes or uses special germ-fighting foam over and over.

A vaccine to help ward off H1N1 is being developed, but it's not going to be available on a large scale until this fall. That would be a good time to get a flu shot. For millions of Americans, getting a flu shot every fall is already routine.

This year it is even more important that as many people as possible have the shot to help prevent the spread of this particularly virulent strain of flu.

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