Through the end of this month, Chicago Sky Rookie of the Year Elena Delle Donne, center Sylvia Fowles, the WNBA’s Defensive Player of the Year and will be staring at you from billboards, print ads and other media as the featured athletes in the Chicago Department of Public Health’s flu prevention ad campaign.As December chills creep into the air, so does the threat of flu, which has its most active season between October and May.
The two joined Chicago Bears legend Mike Ditka, honored at windy, -7 degree Soldier Field at Monday night's football victory versus Dallas, and Chicago Fire defender Gonzalo Segares as faces of the campaign.
Their faces all seem to be saying the same thing: “It’s never too late for a flu shot.”
"I hope that through this campaign I can help encourage people to get a flu shot. I am excited to have the opportunity to spread the word about the importance of taking steps to promote individual health as well as the health of others."
Elena Delle Donne, Chicago Sky, WNBA Rookie of the Year
The flu shot is the best way to protect against the spread of virus. It is especially important to seek a flu shot if you work with infants, are pregnant, or a senior citizen. All are at a higher risk of flu complications.
"Everyone should get their flu shot! It's important to your health and the health of everyone around you to prevent the spread of the flu. I'm happy to be helping CDPH share this message,” said Fowles.
According to the Centers for Disease Control website, the flu is characterized by coughing, aches, extreme fatigue, headache and fever. The fever that accompanies the flu is generally high (100-103 in adults) and lasts for days. If you have a high fever and your symptoms don't seem to be decreasing within a day or so, make an appointment with your primary physician to get checked out.
Your doctor might perform a swab to see if you actually have influenza, and depending on your symptoms, your doctor might prescribe antiviral medications. Since influenza is a virus, treatment is tricky and should be supervised by a physician. If you have influenza, you should rest as much as possible to assure that the virus runs its course quickly and without any additional damage to your body.
Segares, who was vaccinated at the start of the campaign with the Chicago Fire’s mascot Sparky, said, "I’ve got to stay healthy for my long season, and I always get my shot once a year."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that the best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year. You should also avoid contact with those who have flu-like symptoms. To prevent the spread of germs, do the following:
• Stay HOME and do not participate in activities if you are sick or have a fever for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Practice good health habits: Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
Finally, could you really say no to Da Coach, Mike Ditka? I couldn't....
Your local Walgreen's, CVS, Jewel-Osco, Wal-Mart, and many other area pharmacies offer flu shots at minimal prices. For more information, go to http://www.cdc.gov/flu/
NOTE: This story first appeared on the pages of the Des Plaines Valley News
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