As flu season continues to unfold, it is important to help protect those in and around hospitals who may already have weakened immune systems from other conditions. People experiencing flu symptoms are asked to avoid visiting hospitalized loved ones until their symptoms, such as harsh cough and fever above 100.4°F, subside.
Flu symptoms include:
- Fever of 100.4°F or higher
- Harsh, barking cough
- Runny nose
- Severe body aches
- Severe sore throat
- Generalized weakness
General precautions to avoid getting sick:
- Get immunized against the flu virus with a flu shot.
- Wash hands or use hand sanitizer after using the restroom, before and after eating.
- Proper hand washing technique includes washing with soap and water and rubbing for fifteen seconds.
- Hand sanitizer should be rubbed until dry throughout the entire hands and fingers, not just the palms.
- Avoid touching your face and eyes with your hands.
- Avoid large group settings when possible.
If you feel sick:
- Stay home to avoid spreading the flu and to focus on getting well.
- Rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take fever-reducing medicine.
Seek medical attention if:
- You have trouble breathing
- You fever won’t go down, despite use of fever-reducing medicine.
- You have diabetes or other chronic conditions.
FACT SHEET ABOUT THE FLU AND ITS VACCINE
- The predominant strain of the influenza virus this year is the H3N2.
- Influenza kills thirty-six thousand people each year.
- Most susceptible to the flu are the elderly, the very young, pregnant women, and those with chronic diseases, but anyone can contract the virus.
- People can be contagious for twenty-four to forty-eight hours before they experience any flu symptoms.
- Tamiflu doesn’t cure the flu; it may make symptoms less severe and may shorten the duration of the flu symptoms if taken early enough at symptom-onset.
- The difference between a bad cold and the flu: A bad cold can make you feel sick for a couple of days. You may run a fever, but not for the sustained length of time you would with influenza. Influenza will knock you down and you will feel very poorly for ten to fourteen days. Fevers remain high, intense body aches and pains, cough and sore throat are all intensified in influenza versus a cold.
- People are highly advised to still get the flu vaccine, which protects against the H3N2.
- Flu vaccine is still in supply at all major pharmacies, including Saint Mary’s Family Pharmacies.
- The flu vaccine takes ten days after administration to work against the influenza virus.
- Children as young as six months can be vaccinated against influenza.
Source: Saint Mary's Health Care Photo: stock.xchng