With 13 deaths, Idaho officials say this flu season is the worst they've seen in seven years.

Pinehurst Elementary School in North Idaho is closing for a few days after 140 of the 430 students missed class because of the flu.

Our office, like so many in the Treasure Valley, has had an increase in cases as well. Just this week, a handful of people were out sick with the flu and stayed home to make sure it didn't continue to spread throughout the building.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) suggests ways to help prevent your family from getting the flu.

1. Avoid close contact.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

2. Stay home when you are sick.

If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.

3. Cover your mouth and nose.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

4. Clean your hands.

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

6. Practice other good health habits.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

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