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      New Year's Resolution: Avoid the flu

      The flu is in the Valley and to avoid it, there are many things you can do.

      For starters, get the flu shot as soon as possible.

      That is the number one recommendation from top executives at the Cameron County Health Department.

      Getting the shot doesn TMt mean you won TMt get the flu, but if you do it will be milder.

      However, it can help you from joining the 24,000 people that die each year of H1N1.

      H1N1 is a type of flu; it has the same symptoms and treatment.

      The common flu symptoms are cough, headache, body ache and fever.

      Once you have the flu, you must visit your physician immediately.

      They will prescribe you antiviral medication.

      So with the year just starting, a good new year TMs resolution is to avoid getting the flu or passing it on.

      To cover their mouth and nose, stay home if they are sick, clean and disinfect surfaces at work, home and school especially if someone is ill, Ivette Ortega, nurse practitioner at the Cameron

      County Health Department, said. Avoid touching your face, your nose and your mouth cause that's one sure way of getting sick is to contaminate yourself."

      Ortega tells Action 4 News that it is essential to follow these habits as well as washing your hands.

      Ortega emphasized that parents shouldn't send their children to school if they are sick.

      I think day care employees need to be proactive and monitor the children and if they appear ill. They need to be isolated and sent home," Ortega said.

      The flu can be deadly for children.

      As well as elderly people, pregnant women and people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes and hypertension.

      "Usually people with medical underline conditions that might have complications and we don't want it to get there so it TMs important to go to their provider," Raquel Castillo, Public Health

      Preparedness Program Director at the Cameron County Health Department, said.

      In the end, the best way to avoid the flu is getting vaccinated.

      The H1N1 virus broke out on 2009.

      Since that year the amount of deaths from the virus diminished and the virus is included in the shot.

      Most importantly, Valley Health Officials want you to remember the 4 C TMs: - Clean and wash your hands regularly - Cover your coughs and sneezes - Contain yourself if you are sick - Consult a physician if you have any of the symptoms