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Health Officials Say Hygiene Is Key To Preventing Cold & Flu

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The country is heading into a busy travel weekend just as the number of flu cases in North Texas is on the rise -- so doctors are stressing prevention.

Leading up to Christmas, people will be flying and driving regardless of how they are feeling.

That's why officials at Dallas County Health and Human Services are urging people to get the flu shot, and practice good hygiene.

Nearly 100 people received a flu vaccine at a clinic at the Mexican consulate on Thursday.

"I am going to be around a lot of kids and family members, so I want to go ahead and prevent them from getting sick," said Fernanda Roman, who got her shot.

DCHHS officials say the flu shot is their best prevention tool at a time when flu numbers are climbing.

Three people have died in Dallas County alone this season.

Doctors say the simplest way to avoid getting sick is to wash your hands, but many people aren't doing it right or as often as they should.

Soap and water are usually better, but hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol are a good option  – especially for kids are who still learning.

Remember to wash up when preparing and eating food, when caring for someone who is sick, and after you cough or sneeze.

Wash your hands for 20 seconds, getting in between fingers and under nail beds.

"If you are sick yourself, that means not only is your nose running but that means those germs are all over your fingers and hands so you should be washing your hands even more so," said Dr. Frank Esper, who works in Pediatric Infectious Disease at the Cleveland Clinic.

DCHHS is offering more free flu vaccines at upcoming immunization clinics, no appointment necessary.


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