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LOS ANGELENOS, MAN YOUR BATTLE STATIONS, YOU'RE ON 'FLU ALERT'

 PITTSBURGH, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Los Angeles, get out the hot water bottles and thermometers and prepare to do battle. You've just been placed on "Alert" by the Flu/Cold Activity Notification (FAN(TM)) Program, which reports people affected by respiratory illness each week.
 "Right now many Los Angeles households have at least one member sick with a stuffy nose, sore throat, fever, chills and/or aching head," said Steve Jegier, brand manager of SmithKline Beecham's Sucrets(R) sore throat lozenges, sponsor of Sucrets Flu Alert Program. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Los Angeles is not alone. "Influenza Type A has been identified in 42 states," and activity continues to increase.
 The severity of this year's FAN index for Los Angeles, 48.3, is 21.4 percent higher than last year's. Los Angelenos should arm themselves now so they're not among the walking wounded.
 Plan A: Prepare Your Offense
 Colds and flu are respiratory illnesses caused by viruses, not drafts or sudden changes in weather. Once you get a cold, there is no cure. So your best defense is a good offense.
 First, wash your hands frequently. Cold viruses stay transmissible for hours on hands and objects we touch.
 Second, high levels of stress nearly double your chances of catching a cold. Regular exercise, a balanced diet and adequate rest can help combat the effects of stress.
 Flu viruses are spread basically the same way as colds. However, influenza can be prevented by getting a flu shot each year.
 Plan B: Defensive Medicine
 If the enemy breaks through your front line and you do get a cold or the flu, keep a few weapons in your back pocket -- or your medicine chest. Many over-the-counter medicines, such as decongestants, antihistamines, cough syrups, analgesics and sore throat remedies relieve the most bothersome symptoms until the cold or flu runs its course, which is typically five to seven days. However, for some people the flu can be a serious illness that should be treated by a physician.
 Detailed Battle Plans and Weapons Available
 For more cold and flu tactical information, consumers can write to: Sucrets Flu Alert, P.O. Box 2636, Pittsburgh, PA 15230 to receive a free brochure and cents-off coupons for an arsenal of Sucrets, N'ICE(R) and Contac(R).
 -0- 1/11/94
 /CONTACT: Gillian Hamburger of Ketchum Public Relations, 412-456-3878, for Sucrets/


CO: SmithKline Beecham ST: California IN: HEA SU:

DM-JT -- PG004 -- 0903 01/11/94 10:17 EST
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Date:Jan 11, 1994
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