Typically, family and friends come together for the holidays, and that can mean the spread of germs. With the threat of the H1N1 virus still a concern, some people are turning to preventative measures to keep the flu at bay during the holidays. Tis the season for giving, but one gift no one wants to receive this year, is the gift of the flu. Santa Claus explained, "You have to think of others this time of year, like the rest of the year, and its best if you are sick, you should do everybody a favor, and we'll miss you but we'll see you when you are better." With more than 20,000 children possibly sitting on Santa’s lap at Airlie Gardens this year, jolly old St. Nick wants to make sure the H1N1 virus doesn’t spread among his little friends. Santa isn't worried about getting the H1N1 virus this year. He is taking care of himself, but he just wants all the parents to take care of their children, so they don't get everyone else sick. "That’s true, so be well for Christmas, and I’ll see you Christmas Eve." Santa has already gotten a flu shot and wears gloves when he meets with all the children, but hundreds of kids with sniffly noses, and hacking coughs can break barriers and spoil the Christmas cheer. And Santa says it only takes one sick child to infect hundreds of others. "Well I understand that they want to see Santa, and that's what letters are for. At least you can get in touch with Santa, and I’ll hear from you. And remember, I’ll see you Christmas Eve, as long as you take care of yourself." Nationwide, a workers union for Santas, called the Amaglamated Order of Real Bearded Santas, has been encouraging the frequent use of hand sanitizer and vitamins to help ward off the Grinch of this Christmas… the swine flu. Santa told us he is not in one of the high risk age groups for H1N1, so he doesn't feel the need to get the vaccine.
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