Flu viruses are not are friends. They need to be chased off, washed away, and annihilated. This season, influenza has been particularly strong across much of the country. Flu is a serious contagious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death.

Health professionals are urging people to get their flu shots, although most do not.

The News Eagle is planning a special feature on the flu, its local impact and what can be done about it. Your stories are welcome.

Please contact the editor (yours truly) at news@neagle.com or 570-226-4547 if you have any comment on how the flu has affected you or your family, and if flu shots have been beneficial.

Meanwhile, here’s some suggestions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (known as CDC, on everyday actions you can take to help stop the spread of germs and let the flu know it’s not welcome.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people. While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. If you are sick with flu symptoms, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue 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. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

For more information, visit cdc.gov.