Flu Season Preparedness: Tips for Preventing Influenza Outbreaks
According to CDC projections, this flu season has already resulted in at least 7.1 million illnesses, 73,000 hospital admissions, and 4,500 fatalities. Talk to a specialist for infectious diseases if you have any concerns.
Did you know that in the United States, 5 to 10% of adults and 20 to 30% of children get influenza each year?
Here are a few key facts about Influenza/Flu.
What exactly is influenza?
The flu is a contagious viral infection that attacks your respiratory system (nose, throat, and lungs). It is also known as the ‘flu’ because it is caused by the influenza virus. Anyone, from adults to children, can become infected. The best treatment is to get flu shots every year.
This virus spreads through contact with infected people, particularly through touching, sneezing, or coughing. This virus spreads quickly at first with no symptoms. This is one of the primary reasons why millions of people in the United States become ill, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized, and tens of thousands die.
Typically, symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, and a sore throat. However, the flu can cause some or all of the following symptoms:
- Muscle aches and pains
- Fatigue/tiredness most of the time
- Sore throat and cough
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Breathing difficulty
Children are more likely than adults to experience vomiting and diarrhea.
If you have a fever, cough, or runny nose, you can treat it at home by getting plenty of rest, drinking plenty of water, and taking over-the-counter medications.
However, if you have a severe illness, you will be treated with antiviral drugs, antihistamines, and decongestants, which will shorten your illness by a day or two and help you avoid serious complications such as pneumonia. Antiviral medications are most effective when taken within 48 hours (about 2 days) of becoming ill.
Annual flu shots are the most effective flu prevention in the United States.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) recommends that everyone aged 6 months and older get an annual flu shot to prevent the flu virus. To avoid infection, take the following precautions:
Regularly wash your hands: It is critical to wash hands frequently with soap and water or with alcohol-based sanitizers. It aids in the prevention of many common infections.
Keep your hands away from your face, nose, and eyes: The best way to prevent infection transmission is to avoid touching your face, nose, and eyes.
Cover your cough and sneeze: To prevent the spread of infections, always cover your coughing or sneezing with a tissue, handkerchief, hands, or elbow. After sneezing or coughing, wash your hands.
Clean frequently touched surfaces: To prevent the spread of the flu virus, clean frequently touched surfaces such as office tables, home tables, seats, and so on.
Avoid congested areas: Avoid going to crowded places because the chances of getting the infection are higher.
Avoid the sick person: If possible, avoid the sick person until they are completely healed. If you are sick, do the same to avoid spreading your infection.
How can I stay healthy?
Colds and flu are common illnesses that affect everyone. Your doctor and health care provider will always make a clear plan for dealing with them.
A doctor can give you a pneumonia shot to protect you from the flu, meningitis, or blood infections.
- If you have high blood pressure, avoid taking decongestants because they raise your blood pressure.
- If you’re considering taking cold and flu medications, keep in mind that they contain sugar. Consult your doctor first, and then obtain sugar-free medication. Check your blood sugar level every four hours. If your blood sugar level is high, your doctor may advise you to use insulin to lower it.
Do you want to learn more? Visit our team of Specialists for infectious diseases at Doral Health & Wellness on 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11212. Call us on +1-347-384-5690 to get a free consultation from our clinic Or log on to www.doralhw.org
So, what are you waiting for? Book your appointment now and solve your problems.