Pomerene Hospital Blog
I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream FLU
The phrase, "I have the flu" or "she or he has the flu" is fairly common. People say this is relation to all kinds of illnesses, including gastrointestinal bugs that cause vomiting and diarrhea. However, the real "flu" is a group of viruses called influenza. The real flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness that can infect the nose, throat or lungs. Signs and symptoms of influenza include the following:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Occasionally vomiting and diarrhea, more often found in children
How Does It Spread?
- Droplets from when people with the flu sneeze, cough or talk
- Touching a surface infected with the flu virus
- You may be able to spread the flu one day BEFORE you feel symptoms, or up to 5-7 days AFTER getting sick
What Should I Do If I Get The Flu?
- There are antiviral drugs that can lessen the severity and length of the flu, if given within the first few (2) days of symptoms. They are available
from your healthcare provider, they are not over the counter.
- Children and pregnant women can take the antiviral drugs
- Some possible side effects of antiviral drugs include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, runny or stuffy nose, cough, diarrhea, headache and some behavioral side effects. There are uncommon - your care provider can give you more information.
- Stay home and avoid other people
- Stay hydrated. Drink lots of fluids like Gatorade or other commercially prepared electrolyte solutions
- Acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever and/or body aches, headaches
How Can I Prevent The Flu?
- Get an influenza vaccine every year
- Stay away from people who are ill
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Frequent hand washing
- Keep your hands away from your face
- Keep your work area clean. Wipe down your phones, computers, etc often with antibacterial wipes
- Be your healthiest self!
- Get plenty of sleep
- Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of water, fruit and vegetables
- Exercise on a regular basis
Resources: CDC, 2017