Department of Health aims to create flu-free ‘WashYourHandsingTon’

December 26, 2010

By Staff

NEW — 6 a.m. Dec. 26, 2010

The state Department of Health urges residents to journey to “WashYourHandsingTon” as the traditional flu season starts.

In “WashYourHandsingTon,” everyone remembers to cover coughs, wash hands and receive a flu vaccine. The campaign is part of a statewide effort to remind residents to prevent the spread of flu.

“We use a fun approach to get people’s attention, and then remind them that flu is serious and getting vaccinated will keep you well,” state Secretary of Health Mary Selecky said in a statement. “We want Washington to be the state where people ‘give high-fivers, not high fevers!'”

The campaign includes a YouTube video, radio ads, bus cards and billboards.

The current flu vaccine protects against three strains of influenza: H3N2, influenza B and H1N1, or swine flu. The vaccine is recommended for everyone age 6 months and older.

The vaccine arrived in the Evergreen State state in October — the earliest arrival ever. In addition, more vaccine is expected to be available for the current season than in the past.

Influenza, a respiratory illness, causes fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches, fatigue and, sometimes, vomiting. Most people recover within several days, but sometimes the disease leads to pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections.

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