Over the past few weeks, we have seen Influenza A take a large toll on our community and our nation. Experts are suggesting this year’s flu epidemic may be even worst than the Swine Flu that hit North America in 2009. Recently, we spoke with various physicians about the dangers we are currently facing with Influenza A.
Question 1: How can I protect myself and my family from the flu?
Answer: “I believe that the flu vaccine is still one of the best ways to protect us from the flu. Also, hand washing is the easiest tool to avoid spreading illness, as well as covering your cough and avoiding crowds when you are sick.”
Question 2: Do you think flu season is beginning to slow down?
Answer: “Flu season usually peaks between December and February, but some cases can be since all the way until May.”
Question 3: If I suspect I have the flu, should I go to the doctor or just wait for it to pass?
Answer: “If you suspect flu like symptoms, treat yourself with fever reducers like Tylenol, drink plenty of fluids, and get lots of rest. Most people will recover with no problems from the flu. If you have any risk of complications with the flu (asthma, cardiac problems, epilepsy, etc.), then you should look into a medical evaluation. Early diagnosis of the flu might benefit of treatment with Tamiflu.”
Question 4: When does the flu become a medical emergency?
Answer: You should seek immediate medical care in an emergency center if you or your child experience the following warning signs:
Return of flu-like symptom with worsened fever or cough
Fast or trouble breathing
Cyanosis, a blush discoloration of the skin
Flu season is not quite behind us here in the Ozarks. Remember to stay hydrated, wash your hands and get plenty of rest in order to avoid the flu. If flu-like symptoms do appear, speak with your family physician for further instructions.