November

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As flu season approaches it's important to review the signs and symptoms of the flu and steps you can take to help protect yourself and prevent the spread of the flu.

Influenza is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system — your nose, throat and lungs. Influenza, commonly called the flu, is not the same as stomach "flu" viruses that cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Initially, the flu may seem like a common cold with a runny nose, sneezing and sore throat. But colds usually develop slowly, whereas the flu tends to come on suddenly. And although a cold can be a nuisance, you usually feel much worse with the flu.

Flu is a serious contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death.

The CDC urges you to take the following actions to protect yourself and others from influenza (the flu):

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

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

  • If you are sick with flu symptoms, 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.)

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

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

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

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu



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HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month!

Epilepsy is the 4th most common neurological disease in the nation. In fact, 1 in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy at some point in their lifetime. Yet epilepsy remains misunderstood by the general public, and unfortunately sometimes discriminated against. Anyone can have epilepsy, and everyone should know about the prevalence, impact and seizure first aid.  


First aid for generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures

When most people think of a seizure, they think of a generalized tonic-clonic seizure, also called a grand mal seizure. In this type of seizure, the person may cry out, fall, shake or jerk, and become unaware of what’s going on around them.

Here are things you can do to help someone who is having this type of seizure:

  • Ease the person to the floor.

  • Turn the person gently onto one side. This will help the person breathe.

  • Clear the area around the person of anything hard or sharp. This can prevent injury.

  • Put something soft and flat, like a folded jacket, under his or her head.

  • Remove eyeglasses.

  • Loosen ties or anything around the neck that may make it hard to breathe.

  • Time the seizure. Call 911 if the seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes.

First aid for any type of seizure

There are many types of seizures. Most seizures end in a few minutes. These are general steps to help someone who is having any type seizure:

  • Stay with the person until the seizure ends and he or she is fully awake. After it ends, help the person sit in a safe place. Once they are alert and able to communicate, tell them what happened in very simple terms.

  • Comfort the person and speak calmly.

  • Check to see if the person is wearing or a medical bracelet or other emergency information.

  • Keep yourself and other people calm.

  • Offer to call a taxi or another person to make sure the person gets home safely.

Read about first aid for different types seizures:  Epilepsy Foundation Seizure First Aid.

Knowing what NOT to do is important for keeping a person safe during or after a seizure. Never do any of the following things stop sign with hand

  • Do not hold the person down or try to stop his or

  • her movements.

  • Do not put anything in the person’s mouth. This can injure teeth or the jaw. A person having a seizure cannot swallow his or her tongue.

  • Do not try to give mouth-to-mouth breaths (like CPR). People usually start breathing again on their own after a seizure.

  • Do not offer the person water or food until he or she is fully alert.



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