Health Dept: take steps to prevent spread of cold & flu germs

Press Staff Writer

        While many people are talking about the Novel Coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan City, China, local health officials are reminding everyone to protect themselves from the flu and to prevent the spread of cold and flu germs.
        Flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone.
        In general, colds are usually milder than flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections or hospitalizations.
        The symptoms of flu can include fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.
        In either case, it’s important to take preventative actions to stop the spread of germs. The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department offers these tips:
        • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or cough into your sleeve. After using a tissue, throw it away immediately and wash your hands.
        • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
        • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs on your hands can transfer into your body.
        • Stay home or keep your distance when you are ill or not feeling well. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
        • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.
Coronavirus update
        The Health Department continues to work with the Ohio Department of Health and the CDC regarding the Coronavirus.
        People who have traveled to the affected areas outside the U.S. where 2019-nCoV outbreaks have been identified and feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, should seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and inform them of your symptoms and travel history.
        If you have not traveled to China or have not been in contact with a person known or suspected to have the illness, there is no reason to be concerned at this time, Health Department officials say.
        The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department collaborates closely with The University of Toledo and will provide assistance if the ongoing outbreak affects the local area.
        For additional information on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, visit the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department at and the Ohio Department of Health at Information will be updated on the rapidly evolving situation on the CDC website at


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