The Flu – A Viral Illness – How to Prevent it and When to Seek Treatment
The past few weeks have been busy ones in emergency rooms across the nation as there has been a sharp uptick of people testing positive for the Influenza virus. Most experts believe that you get the flu when a person with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks and droplets containing their germs land in your mouth or nose. You can also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes, or nose.
There are many actions you can take to help protect yourself and your loved ones from this viral illness.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it, then sanitize your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
What are the symptoms of Flu?
When should you seek treatment?
Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Purple or blue discoloration of the lips
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough
For more information about the flu, the vaccine and tips on how to reduce the chance of getting the flu surf on over to Flu.gov