MoonPies, beads, and hand sanitizer?

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MOBILE Ala. (WKRG) — In order to cut down the spread of the flu virus, the Mobile County Health Department is handing out hand sanitizer to parade-goers.

February is traditionally the peak of flu season in Mobile County. Unfortunately, that coincides with many Carnival activities through Fat Tuesday.

“We will try and attend as many parades as possible until our inventory is expended,” said Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II, Health Officer for Mobile County. “The single most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of the influenza virus is to keep your hands clean.”

In addition to the flu outbreak, health officials say we are also facing an outbreak of Hepatitis A. They have these tips to avoid contracting the virus.

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it;

• Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub;

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way;

• Disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs, such as parade barricades.

Mobile County Health Department

All of MCHD’s Family Health locations offer the flu vaccine. The Urgent Care facility located at the Maj. Gen. William C. Gorgas Health Center in Downtown Mobile at 251 North Bayou Street will offer flu shots during the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

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