First Responders, Protect Yourself from the Flu!

What moves faster than a wildfire? The flu! Like flying embers spreading a wildfire uncontrollably, germs from the flu spread quickly wreaking havoc, illness and even death. Both are dangerous and pose an unreasonable risk to our health, safety and environment! Like a hazardous materials incident, Isolate yourself and stay away from others because it spreads through contamination.

Influenza Updates: Flu activity is high in the U.S. and expected to continue for weeks. Everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each season. The Center for Disease Control reported this week that there have been twice as many pediatric flu deaths so far this year than at the same time last year. What’s more, a second strain of the virus that more commonly infects younger people is becoming widespread, the CDC reported Friday.

The flu can spread up to six feet away. This happens when flu sufferers cough, sneeze or talk, or when a caretaker or family member touches something that has flu virus on it and then touches their own mouth or nose. You’ve been exposed to the hazardous contaminants at that point!

First responders are at an even greater risk than the general public as they are on the front lines of this outbreak. All first responders should receive a seasonal flu vaccine each year to protect themselves, their families and the public they serve.

What are some ways to protect yourself?

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Stay at home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Drink fluids even when you feel well.
  • Wash surfaces that are shared with others such as keyboards, telephones, exercise equipment, TV remotes.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get your flu shot!

Be part of the solution, not the problem!

For additional Flu tips visit:  https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/index.html

About Chief Sam DiGiovanna

Sam DiGiovanna is a 33-year fire service veteran. He started with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, served as fire chief at the Monrovia Fire Department and currently serves as chief at the Verdugo Fire Academy in Glendale, Calif.