Protect yourself from the flu this holiday season

Protect yourself from the flu this holiday season

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The flu is already making headlines this year as it’s widespread even in Georgia.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, there have been more than 200 hospitalizations and two flu-related deaths. Medical professionals say it’s not too late to protect yourself.

As you get ready to gather for the holidays you want to make sure your swapping gifts and not germs. Medical professionals have some advice for avoiding the flu this Christmas.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates already this year there have been 2.6 million flu- related illnesses and hundreds in Georgia. Nurses at Candler Hospital say they've seen it first-hand.

"We have had widespread disease,” said Rita Allen, RN Infection Preventionist with St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System. “We are above the baseline for Georgia and have been for a couple of weeks now."

That's why they have visitor restrictions at their hospitals right now. They say in addition to the flu shot, your best bet to avoid the flu it to stay away from those who are sick.

"The best way to prevent things is actually to stay away from people that are sick,” Allen said. “If you are ill especially with fever and flu like symptoms plus fever stay away, stay home. Don't go to work, don't go to school."

If you're visiting family and friends this holiday, there are some other easy tips to help you stay healthy. For one wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer, cover your cough or sneeze and clean common spaces.

Health officials say it’s never too late to get your flu vaccine as the season persists. And to remember to get plenty of rest and fluids this holiday season.

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