As the flu spreads quickly throughout our community, there are many questions about preventive measures, symptoms and when to seek medical care, among others.
True to our caring for our community, Seton Medical Center has gathered the information below from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help you stay healthy and how to get help when you need it. For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/takingcare.htm.
What can I do to prevent the flu?
The single best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu is to get vaccinated. Talk to your doctor about getting a vaccine. To find a flu vaccine clinic near you, visit http://smchealth.org/flu.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Stay home when you are sick
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
Clean your hands – wash your hands often
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
How Do I Know if I Have the Flu?
You may have the flu if you have some or all of these symptoms:
Runny or Stuffy Nose
Sometimes Diarrhea and Vomiting
* It is important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
What Should I Do if I Get Sick?
Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.
If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider or visit the nearest urgent care center. Visit your local Emergency Department only if you are experiencing severe flu symptoms.
What are the Emergency Warning Signs?
Fast breathing or trouble breathing
Bluish skin color
Not drinking enough fluids
Not waking up or not interacting
Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Fever with a rash
In addition to the signs above, get medical help right away for any infant who has any of these signs:
Being unable to eat
Has trouble breathing
Has no tears when crying
Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
Severe or persistent vomiting
Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Do I need to go the emergency room if I am only a little sick?
No. The emergency room should be used for people who are very sick. You should not go to the emergency room if you are only mildly ill. If you have the emergency warning signs of flu sickness, you should go to the emergency room. If you get sick with flu symptoms and are at high risk of flu complications or you are concerned about your illness, call your health care provider for advice. If you go to the emergency room and you are not sick with the flu, you may catch it from people who do have it.
How long should I stay home if I’m sick?
CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other things you have to do and no one else can do for you. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol®.) You should stay home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings.
What should I do while I’m sick?
Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from making them sick. If you must leave home, for example to get medical care, wear a facemask if you have one, or cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. And wash your hands often to keep from spreading flu to others. Visit the Taking Care of a Sick Person in Your Home guide for more information.
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