Texas Emergency Management ONLINE2013 Vol. 60 No. 10

Message From The Chief

Hello Texas,

Do you hate washing your hands as much as I do?  Many of you know my wife, Dr. Emily Kidd.  I can’t count the number of times she has given me “the look” as I get ready to do something that would require the “normal person” to wash their hands before doing.  I know she is only looking out for my health, but man it makes me miss hanging out with firefighters sometimes!

Nationwide, October marks the beginning of flu season. In Texas, flu season is at its worst between December and February, but this unpredictable disease can strike at any time.

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death. Every year in the U.S. thousands die from flu-related illness, and Texans are not immune. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that everyone over six months old get a flu shot yearly, and get it early. It is the most important step you can take to protect yourself from this serious disease.  The 2013-2014 seasonal flu vaccine is now available.  You can find vaccination locations here.

Every flu season is different. Flu viruses are constantly changing, so it’s not unusual for new strains to appear from season to season. Typically, flu vaccines are formulated to prevent the viruses that commonly circulate among people today:  H1N1, H3N2, and influenza B.

Other steps you can take to protect yourself from the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Wash your hands often;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; and
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that can become contaminated with germs.

If you get sick, stay home from work or school to help prevent spreading the disease. If you must go out, avoid close contact with other people, and cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. The Texas Department of State Health Services also recommends that you have a plan to care for sick family members at home.

Chief W. Nim Kidd, CEM®

Follow me @chiefkidd on Twitter, and you can also follow
Texas Division of Emergency Management on Twitter @TDEM

TexasFlu.Org
Flu Season - Centers for Disease Control
Flu Vaccine Finder

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