Seasonal Flu: an ounce of prevention …

. Posted in Influenza (Flu)

By Emily Wood, MD, InterMed Infectious Disease department

You’ve likely seen reports on the news about the spread of seasonal flu. While its arrival to our area was a little slow, activity is picking up a bit.

The symptoms we’re seeing are similar to those of past years. These may include:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Vomiting and diarrhea — more common in children than adults

Generally, there is no cause for concern and the flu will run its course in 2-5 days with rest. Avoid contact with other people to prevent spreading the virus.

Contact your physician promptly if you are very sick or are among those with a high risk of serious complications. Your doctor may prescribe an antiviral drug to help shorten the duration.

How can I avoid the flu?

  • Get a flu shot. There are several weeks left in the flu season. While the effectiveness is still being determined, a flu shot should minimize the effects of flu should you become ill.
  • Wash your hands, especially before eating and after contact with someone who is sick.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of liquids, especially water, to stay hydrated.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.

Learn more at the Centers for Disease Control website