The seasonal flu is something every human being tries to avoid. Not only is it miserable to suffer through, but it puts your whole life on hold. Highly contagious, the flu is an illness that has the potential to be fatal as well, making your preparedness and overall health important when handling the virus.
For many people, the flu starts out feeling like a simple cold and in a short amount of time becomes a thorn in your side.
Symptoms of the Flu include:
- Fever: temperature equal or greater to 100.4° F (38° C)
- Sore Throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body Aches
- Vomiting and diarrhea
If you experience the above symptoms:
- Contact your doctor
- Remain home for 24 hours or until fever breaks
- In public, wear a Face Mask to prevent the spread of germs
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Use a decongestant and/or expectorant
- Get plenty of rest
Advise your physician so that they:
- Know which patients, and how many are getting sick
- Can alert you of any risks of your flu strain or underlying medical conditions
The best way to deal with the flu is to not get it. Take advantage of these helpful tips and prepare for the upcoming flu season.
Ways to prepare include:
- Vaccination – Everyone 6 months and older should receive a seasonal flu shot.
- Wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap and warm water.
- Wash for a minimum of 20 seconds. Wash vigorously and frequently.
- Use a hand sanitizer that is alcohol-based.
- Don't touch your face – eyes, nose, mouth.
- Practice good health habits: get enough sleep, exercise regularly, drink lots of fluids, and eat healthy foods.
- Cover nose and mouth with tissue when sneezing or coughing; discard immediately.
- Use your elbow or shoulder if a tissue is not available. NEVER sneeze in your hands.
- Talk with your doctor about anti-viral medications that you can take. These can help to shorten illness time and make your illness milder.
- Avoid contact with sick people and if you are the sick person avoid contact with healthy people.
There are certain members of the community who must take special care during flu season. Flu viruses can cause medical complications and can also exacerbate ones that are already harbored.
People who must be cautioned include:
- Pregnant women
- Children under 5
- Adults: 65 years of age or older
- People who are morbidly obese
- People with chronic conditions including heart disease, asthma, diabetes and/or those with kidney, liver, nervous disorders.
Now that you are familiar on how to protect yourself, and others, from the flu, it is your duty to help educate. Make sure friends and family know the safety guidelines of avoiding or handling the flu. Keep a special eye out for anyone you know, who may have complications, and seek medical treatment immediately if those complications arrive. Be prepared, if you're not, it may be a tough flu season to make it through.