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Editorial: Keeping H1N1 under control

By now, most of us have heard enough about H1N1 novel influenza. But with Halloween just a day away -- and both H1N1 and the seasonal flu prevalent across the region -- the American Red Cross is taking a wise step and letting people know how they can keep themselves well after trick-or-treating.

On a news release titled "Red Cross offers the 'trick' to safety this Halloween," the following are among the tips offered (with some being more obvious than others):

- If your child is sick, keep them at home.

- Remind kids to keep their hands away from their eyes, nose and mouth to keep germs away. Carry hand sanitizer, or have it near the candy dispenser area.

- If you are giving out candy, hand it out or scoop it. Instead of a bowl of candy, consider handing out small, individually wrapped bags of treats.

- Throw away any unwrapped candy and inspect the rest for choking hazards and tampering.

For more information, people may visit And, speaking of visiting -- hospitals, that is -- there were also H1N1-recommendations issued jointly within the last week by Avera, Regional Health and Sanford Health. The three healthcare organizations, according to a news release, "strongly recommend visits to patients and residents are limited only to family members who are at least 18 years of age as well as clergy. Persons with any flu-like symptoms are asked not to visit until symptom free."

There ... that's enough about H1N1 for now. And, if readers exercise these types of cautions, we hope there won't be much more.