It’s that time of year, when the warm days of summer fade into the cool crisp days of autumn. That also means we are entering Flu season. Flu is a serious contagious disease resulting in over 200.000 hospitalizations per year. Flu like symptoms includes fever (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit), headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches and sore throat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued the following recommendations on flu prevention:
Take time to get vaccinated
- Get your annual seasonal flu vaccine – recommended for everyone 6 months and older, this is especially important for people at high risk of serious flu complications, including young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and people 65 years and older.
- Vaccination is important for health care workers and others who live with or care for high risk individuals to prevent giving the flu to those at high risk
Take everyday preventive actions
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after use.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Use alcohol based hand sanitizer if soap and water is unavailable.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. This is how germs are spread.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you are sick with flu-like symptoms stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone unless you are receiving medical care. (Your fever should be gone without the use of fever reducing medications)
- While sick, limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
Take flu antiviral drugs if recommended.
- If you get sick with the flu, antiviral drugs may be ordered by your physician.
- Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines that fight against the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing.
- Antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and you feel better faster
- Antiviral drugs work best if started within the first 2 days of symptoms.
So if you aren’t feeling well, stay home until you are feeling better, call your doctor if you feel that you have flu like symptoms, and remember the best prevention is vaccination and of course the advice of our mothers….. “Cover your mouth” and “Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands.” Stay healthy!