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Flu Prevention Tips

The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands frequently can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu.

  • 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.
  • Cover our nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after use and wash your hands.
  • 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. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.
  • Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

The Fatal Four

The Fatal Four are four preventable health conditions that are more commonly seen among individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and can lead to serious medical complications and death if not recognized and treated.

Constipation in when there is infrequent, hard, or hard to pass stool, usually less than three times per week. Complications range from pain/discomfort to complete blockage, bowel perforations, and death.

     Prevention: Diet modifications, Increase fiber intake, Increase fluid intake, medication

Aspiration is when food, fluid, saliva, or medication enters the lungs. This can lead to refusal to eat, weight loss, poor nutrition, wheezing, difficulty breathing, hypoxia, and/or pneumonia which can cause death. Choking is when food or other items become lodged in the back of the throat, and if not cleared can quickly lead to irreversible brain damage and death.

     Prevention: Feeding evaluation, Inclined position, Thickened liquid diet

Dehydration is when we don’t have enough water in our body, and complications can be serious and include constipation, heat injury, kidney injury/failure, seizure from abnormal electrolyte levels, loss of consciousness, and loss of blood volume or shock.

     Prevention: Address fluid intake, Dietary modifications, Awareness of increased incidence during fever, diarrhea, elevated blood glucose, and vomiting

Seizures are abnormal, unregulated electrical activity in the brain resulting in involuntary alterations in behavior or physical symptoms. Symptoms of a seizure depend on which area of the brain is affected, and may include staring, fluttering eyes, lip smacking, muscle spasms, numbness or tingling, and hearing or smelling things not there.

     Prevention: Most seizure disorders cannot be truly prevented, Effective management through AED compliance, prevention of precipitating factors, early medical treatment

For more information about The Fatal Four – symptoms, assessment, potential complications, diagnostics, treatment, and prevention visit:

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