Friday, November 06, 2009

Infectious disease, infect me not!

Trying to get your community prepared in the midst of flu season? Looking for ways to teach your colleagues, classmates or neighbors about staying healthy? The San Francisco Department of Health’s new Web site can help.

Infect Me Not” contains lots of activities to help you learn how to prevent the spread of germs and infectious disease. For starters, check out the eight things you can do to keep yourself healthy, a list of easy habits you can adopt from preparing your food safely to getting vaccinated that can help keep you disease-free.

It also features three fun 30-second videos — one about coughing and sneezing, one about hand-washing and one about staying home when you’re sick — that drive home important points about preventing the spread of disease with a healthy dose of humor.

Our favorite part of the Web site is the song competition. It’s a great idea (in fact, APHA did something similar a few years ago) and a fun way for the public to be involved, strive for a prize and ultimately teach others about being healthy.

And with all this talk about disease, what are germs anyway and how do they make us sick? You can find out on the Web site’s germ facts page. There’s also information on getting vaccinated, from the seasonal flu shot to the shots needed when you travel to other countries, and answers to questions about pandemic flu. There are brochures, posters, ads and videos, too, that anyone can download and use to spread the word — with washed hands — about being healthy.

The moral of the story? Being sick is no fun for anyone. Take the small steps to stay healthy to keep you and those around you happy and well.

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