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September 2009

H1N1 flu clinics

Southcoast will be holding public H1N1 flu clinics once the vaccine becomes available this fall. The schedule will be posted on our website.

Wash your hands!

This is the most powerful thing you can do to prevent H1N1 or other infections.

Make sure to wash regularly especially before eating, after touching the handles of grocery carts, or before and after visiting someone in the hospital.

Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you can't get to a sink.


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It's flu season: Get all the facts

There's a lot of talk — and a lof of confusion — about the flu this year.

Southcoast has created a website — — to keep you informed.

Information on our website pulls together information from multiple sources, such as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, and combines it with our own local health and medical experts and tips for residents of the South Coast region.

We will also send special editions of Southcoast eNews to keep you informed of key developments.

We encourage you to visit this page, bookmark it and subscribe to our flu RSS feed.

10 tips to help you through flu season

Here are 10 things to think about to help you stay healthy during this flu season:

  1. Stay informed: Check out for the very latest flu facts and tips.

  2. Get your flu shot — you can't get the flu from a flu shot.

  3. Wash your hands — a lot. Use soap and warm water or frequently wash your hands with anti-bacterial gel.

  4. Cough into your sleeve — not into your hands.

  5. Don't share water bottles.

  6. Avoid close contact. Employ the "arm's length rule" and keep 6 feet between you and others.

  7. There are two flus this year that you need to be concerned about — and you need protection against both. Get your regular flu shot as soon as you can, either from your doctor or a public clinic. Southcoast will also hold H1N1 flu clinics for the public to protect you from this new strain of flu.

  8. If you are feeling sick with the flu, stay home. And if you have had a fever, wait until at least 24 hours after the fever has broken before returning to work or school.

  9. To talk to a public health expert about H1N1 swine flu, just dial 211 from anywhere in Massachusetts. It's a free call — and a good way to get answers to your questions.

  10. Flu symptoms include fever, tiredness, weakness, severe muscle and joint aches, dry cough, headache, sore throat and a runny or stuffy nose.

Listen to our weekly flu podcast

Southcoast is producing a weekly video podcast called "Flu Facts: Spread the message, not the flu" featuring Eugene McMahon, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Southcoast Hospitals Group.

Each week the podcast will cover key facts about the flu and news and information about local resources, such as flu clinics.

Our first episode will appear this week.

Download a free flu poster

You can now download a free copy of the same flu poster that Southcoast has displayed throughout our facilities.

Simply visit our website and download the PDF file. We encourage you to print the poster and display it in public areas, restrooms and break areas.

By practicing some healthy hygiene, we can all do our part to protect against the spread of germs and the flu this season.

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