Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Flu Season is in Full Effect

If you've been watching the news of late, you know that the flu season is in full swing.  The spouse was a bit under the weather last week and that quickly turned into the full-fledged flu (fever and chills, sore throat, headache, etc).  Recovery is taking its sweet time.  Today I feel like I am teetering on the brink of illness too and this is not good (I say, as I sound like I am hacking up a lung).  Meanwhile our guests are wisely keeping their distance from us.  Here's a few tips:

  • As I've outlined in the last couple of posts, everything is organized and staged in our house including a fairly comprehensive "sick kit" or first aid kit.  You don't want to drag your carcass out of your nice warm home when you are feeling sick as a dog to schlep down to the store to buy cold remedies, soup, tissue, etc.
  • There are antivirals available but they need to be administered right after symptoms start.  Many people don't receive antivirals because you need a prescription from a doctor to get them and they often wait a week or more before going to the doctor which makes them ineffective.  So while antiviral medication is an option (and no, it is not the same as antibiotics) many people don't get them.
  • So that leaves someone with the flu to treat the symptoms and suffer until the virus passes.  This means using Tylenol or Thera Flu or a variety of other medications on the market to treat the symptoms (reduce fever, tame a cough, etc), getting lots of rest, and pushing soup and other liquids to avoid dehydration.  A massive pile of Kleenex helps too.
  • Of course, anyone who is more susceptible to illness (pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, the very old, very young, or very ill) should see their doctor at the first onset of illness.
  • And others who think they will "tough it out" should not hesitate to see a physician for severe symptoms (difficulty breathing, very high fever, extreme weakness, signs of dehydration, etc).
  • While it is often recommended to get a flu shot, this year, for example, the vaccine was created for a different strain of flu than what is currently going around.

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