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Local health agencies promote flu prevention

Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen gets flu shot Friday January 18 2013. | Courtesy Kane County Health Department

Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen gets a flu shot Friday, January 18, 2013. | Courtesy of Kane County Health Department

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Updated: February 21, 2013 6:32AM

In the worst flu season in recent years, Fox Valley health agencies are taking some extra steps to promote flu vaccines and precautions.

Aurora-based VNA Health Care has started giving care packages of chicken soup and tissue to patients with flu-like symptoms, and reminding them to stay home and rest.

“Most people who come down with the flu need to simply stay home, rest and ride out their illness,” said Dr. Alithea Dacanay, family practice medical director at VNA Health Care. “By giving out the care packages we hope to remind our patients that ... they need to take time to tend to their needs while they are not feeling well.”

The care packages are distributed while supplies last, and are being distributed at VNA Health Centers in Aurora, Bensenville and Carol Stream.

Anyone with flu symptoms — fever, chills, muscle pain, respiratory congestion — should see their doctor. If the patient is found to have the flu, antibiotics are not prescribed because they do not kill the flu virus or prevent the spread of the flu, the VNA said.

“If you’ve been lucky enough to stay healthy this week, remember to keep washing your hands and avoid close contact with others,” Dacanay said.

Flu shots are still available at VNA Health Care for $20. For more information, call 630-978-2532.

In its effort to promote getting the flu vaccine, the Kane County Health Department noted that County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen of Aurora got his flu shot Friday morning.

“The flu is a serious illness, but it also is a preventable illness. By getting your shot and following the ‘Three C’s’ — cover your cough, clean your hands, and contain your illness — we will go a long way toward stopping its spread,” Lauzen said after rolling up his sleeve.

The health department reported emergency room visits for influenza-like illness at Kane County hospitals dropped for the second week in a row, but flu activity remains high for this point in the season.

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