Officials reminding the public of holiday flu dangers

Officials reminding the public of holiday flu dangers

Amarillo Public health officials are encouraging some interesting methods to fight the flu.

This weekend, families and loved ones will be coming together. But some doctors are warning coming too close might be bad idea, as the flu is thriving all around the country.

Some doctors are even discouraging the use of mistletoe this holiday season. They say is promotes the spreading of germs, especially with the flu already making its way around.

There are about 15 cases reported to the Amarillo Health Department a week, numbers lower than last year, but still concerning considering flu season peaks between February and March.

"This is still a really great time if you haven't gotten your flu shot to go ahead and get that flu shot so that you give your body time to build protection, build those antibodies ready for when our flu season peaks," says Director of Public Health Casie Stoughton.

But it's not just mistletoe officials are warning about. Of course Christmas brings out the best in people, including sharing. That, however might not be the best idea, especially if you are sick.

"Avoid kissing under the mistletoe, avoid that direct contact and don't share drinks, good hand washing, don't share food or forks things like that," says Stoughton. "Maybe a good fist bump instead of a kiss under the mistletoe would be a great idea."

Stoughton also wants to remind the public flu shots are recommended for children 6 months and older. And if you are around a child younger than that, she says vaccinating yourself is a good idea.

"They're too young to be vaccinated so we want to build a cocoon of protection around that baby, so it's important that everyone in the household, everyone that's going to be around that baby to be vaccinated so that we can protect that baby."

If you would like a flu shot, the Department of Public Health offers a clinic Monday through Friday from 8-4.

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