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Health Bulletin Fall 2013

Stop! Don't Treat a Virus with Antibiotics
Did you know?
  • Antibiotics kill bacteria and some other microorganisms.
  • Antibiotics do not kill viruses.
  • Many common illnesses are caused by viruses.
  • Taking antibiotics when you have a virus can make you sicker.

These common illnesses are caused by viruses:
  • Colds
  • Flu
  • Runny noses
  • Most coughs
  • Most bronchitis
  • Most sore throats
  • Most sinus infections
  • Some ear infections
Taking antibiotics for viruses:
  • Will NOT cure you
  • Will NOT help you feel better
  • Will NOT keep others from catching your virus

Improper use of antibiotics can:
  • Kill good bacteria in your body.
  • Cause diarrhea, yeast infections and serious allergic reactions. Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.
  • Result in stronger bacteria that may cause future infections and be very hard to treat.
  • Bacteria can cause illnesses like strep throat that are often treated with antibiotics.
  • There are risks when taking any prescription drug.
  • Antibiotics should only be used when your doctor says they are needed.
  • Take all of your antibiotics even if you feel better.

Power Outages and Food Safety

Power outages are annoying, especially when they last a while. A refrigerator will keep food fresh for up to 2 hours without power. Below are some tips to save your food and keep your family healthy.

How do I keep my food safe during a power outage?
  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
  • First eat food in the refrigerator. A closed refrigerator will keep food cold for about 2 hours.
  • Next eat food from the freezer. A freezer will keep food frozen for 24 to 48 hours if the door stays closed.
  • Use up your canned foods after using food from the refrigerator and freezer.
  • If it looks like the power outage will be longer than one day, get a cooler ready with ice for your freezer items.
  • Keep water bottles in the refrigerator before a power outage because they can help keep your refrigerator cold when the power goes out.
PECO Contact Information:
Emergency Line:
Customer Service:
Language Interpretation services are available
What should I do with my food after the power comes back on?
  • Throw away any food that smells bad or has an unusual color or texture. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • Throw away any food that has been out at room temperature. Bacteria causing food‐borne illness can start growing quickly.
  • Some types of bacteria cannot even be killed by cooking.
  • Never taste food to check if it is still good.
  • If food in the freezer is colder than 40 ͦ F and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it.
  • If you are not sure if food is cold enough, take its temperature with a food thermometer.
  • Throw out any foods that feel warm.

Rake Leaves Safely
While raking leaves:
  • Do not twist your body.
  • Use your legs to shift your weight, instead of twisting your back.
  • Bend at the knees and not at the waist to pick up items.
  • Use a properly sized rake for your height and strength. A 24 inch rake is good for a 5 foot 6 inch person.
  • Wear gloves to avoid blisters on your hands.
  • Wear protective eye glasses, especially if you are using a leaf blower.

Don't overdo it. Take breaks and slow down.

Drink plenty of water. It is important to stay hydrated.

Stretch! Stretching can help relieve tension in your muscles. A hot bath can relax the muscles as well.