With the number of instances of the flu virus increasing daily, it is important to take action to fight the flu and know the signs and symptoms. If you have not, get the flu shot. Vaccination is recommended for those six months and older. While there are many flu viruses, the vaccine protects against the most common strain as suggested by research. Avoid contact with sick people and if you are sick, stay home until your fever has been gone for at least 24 hours unless you must get medical attention or other necessities. Wash your hands often with soap and water and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea. If you have flu symptoms, antiviral drugs can be used to shorten the illness and make it milder. They can also prevent serious flu complications, like pneumonia.
In adults, you should seek medical attention immediately if you experience difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the stomach or chest, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or constant vomiting, or if flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and a worse cough.
“The current strain of flu is hitting the old and the young hardest. It’s important to pay special attention to these groups and watch for danger signs,” says Dr. Michael Lemon, physician at Wood County Medical Associates.
In children, seek emergency care if your child experiences: fast breathing, blue or grey skin color, not drinking enough fluids, serious or constant vomiting, not waking up or interacting, being so irritable your child does not want to be held or if the symptoms improve and then return with a fever and worse cough.
In infants, you should watch for the inability to eat, a child that has no tears when crying and having far fewer wet diapers than normal.
“If you are concerned about your child or they display these symptoms, call your child’s pediatrician or take him or her to an urgent care or emergency room immediately. This year’s flu strain is very serious and should not be taken lightly,” says Lemon.
Falcon Health Center, located at 838 E. Wooster Street in Bowling Green, offers Urgent Care, flu shots and can treat flu patients, Mon-Fri 8a-9p and Sat-Sun 9a-5p. The Wood County Hospital Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is able to treat flu patients.
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