It's the Flu Season Again!

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 8:27 AM

A lot of people in the Philippines are catching the bug. I was down with flu last week and most of my friends. Even Tag has a cold and has been sneezing a lot.


So for all of us PLHIV's what should we do? Always remember that catching the flu is normal for everyone, even for us, PLHIV's. So here are some general tips that we need to consider during the flu season in our country:



How to Avoid Flu?


Every time you shake someone’s hand, wash yours
But don’t stop there. Wash them as much as possible, says Mark Mengel, MD, chair of community and family medicine at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Running lots of water over your hands will dilute any germs and send them down the drain.

Keep your hands off
Touching your nose and your eyes may hurt you, Mengel says. Those are the most common places for germs to get in.

Go to bed
As if getting enough sleep on a normal basis isn’t hard enough, you need more z’s when you’re feeling under the weather. When you’re tired, your body isn’t fighting as hard, so Mengel suggests getting 8 to 10 hours a night.

Get your shot
Last year’s flu-shot shortages are, well, last year’s shortages, says Jeff Robertson, MD, and chief medical officer for health insurer Regence. Finding flu shots should be easier this year, but you should get one early.

Build up with healthy food
You may think it’s hard to eat healthy on a regular basis, but eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables supports your immune system, Robertson says. And that’s a lot easier than fighting off the flu.

Work out
Get those sweats on and exercise, says Ann G. Kulze, MD, CEO and founder of Dr. Ann and Just Wellness. Working out regularly enhances immune function, she explains.

Stay away
Keep your distance from people displaying symptoms like sneezing and coughing. While that strategy may seem obvious, it applies to more than just strangers and colleagues. Stay away from sick friends and family when possible, Robertson says.

Sanitize yourself
Keep sanitizing gel or alcohol-based hand wipes on you at all times. But read the label before you buy, says Robertson: Some wipes are not alcohol-based and won’t be as effective.

Make certain you're getting your RDA for vitamin E and other antioxidants including A, C and B-complex vitamins and minerals. These have properties that enhance immune response. Studies on older mice have shown that those with reduced levels of vitamin E were more susceptible to flu infection.

Sources:

http://www.health.com/health/condition-article/0,,20250939,00.html
http://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/cold-flu/ten-ways-to-avoid-the-flu.htm



The Flu: What To Do When Get Sick?
(Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

How do I know if I have the flu?

You may have the flu if you have some or all of these symptoms:
  • fever*
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • sometimes diarrhea and vomiting
*It's 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 (doctor, physician’s assistant, etc.).

Certain people are at greater risk of serious flu-related complications (including young children, elderly persons, pregnant women and people with certain long-term medical conditions) and this is true both for seasonal flu and novel flu virus infections. If you are in a high risk group and develop flu symptoms, it’s best for you to contact your doctor. Remind them about your high risk status for flu.

Health care providers will determine whether influenza testing and possible treatment are needed. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs that can treat the flu. These drugs work better for treatment the sooner they are started.

What are the emergency warning signs?

In children
  • 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
In adults
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • 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

Are there medicines to treat the flu?

Yes. There are drugs your doctor may prescribe for treating the flu called “antivirals.” These drugs can make you better faster and may also prevent serious complications. 

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.

Source:

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/takingcare.htm







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