With winter in full swing, it is important to know what steps to take to protect yourself and your family from winter health risks. While those of us who reside in the Bay Area do not typically have to worry about slipping and falling on icy pavement or risking a heart attack from shoveling snow, we, like others throughout the United States, are still at risk for colds and flu. This winter has seen a worse-than-normal flu season, with 47 states reporting widespread infection. More than 6,100 people have been hospitalized for the flu since October, and at least 37 children have died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While flu season typically begins in October, it can last through March, often peaking in February. The flu is one of the most easily transmitted viruses, passing from person to person through the air via coughing or sneezing, through contact between people and between an infected person and common surfaces such as door handles, staircase railings and ATMs.
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This article and tips on how to stay healthy during the flu season, provided by El Camino Hospital infection preventionists, Penny Takizawa and Catherine Nalesnik.