Flu Season

How You Can Prepare for Flu Season

What to Do if You Get the Flu?

by Clinical Director Susan Abbott

It’s flu season again. You always want to avoid getting it, and the flu shot is your best bet. But it’s also good to remember what to do if you or your children get the flu.

Remember, you’re contagious with the flu for up to 24 hours before you start showing symptoms and up to 7 days after the onset. According to Dr. Schleiss from the University of Minnesota Medical School, the first 24 hours are the most contagious.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises that you see your doctor if you have any of these flu symptoms:

  • Fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu will have a fever)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Vomiting and diarrhea (this is more common in children than adults)

The CDC warns that some people will develop complications, like pneumonia, because of the flu. This can be life-threatening and even fatal. That’s why you should see your doctor and have a flu test if you think you may have it – especially during this time of year during flu season. If positive, the doctor can prescribe Tamiflu, which typically reduces the length of illness by one day. Also, remember to drink plenty of liquids and make sure you’re urinating regularly.

What are the Emergency Warning Signs of Flu?

According to the CDC, children experiencing these warning signs should get immediate medical care:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Ribs pulling in with each breath
  • Chest pain
  • Severe muscle pain (child refuses to walk)
  • Dehydration (no urine for 8 hours, dry mouth, no tears when crying)
  • Not alert or interacting when awake
  • Seizures
  • Fever above 104°F
  • In children less than 12 weeks, any fever
  • Fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen
  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions

Elderly adults or those with a weakened immune system are also at greater risk of complications with the flu, and all adults should seek medical care right away if they are experiencing:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Persistent dizziness, confusion, inability to arouse
  • Seizures
  • Not urinating
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Severe weakness or unsteadiness
  • Fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen
  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions

These lists are not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

The Differences Between the Common Cold and the Flu

Signs and Symptoms Cold Influenza (Flu)
Symptom onset Gradual Abrupt
Fever Rare Usual; lasts 3-4 days
Aches Slight Usual; often severe
Chills Uncommon Fairly common
Fatigue, weakness Sometimes Usual
Sneezing Common Sometimes
Chest discomfort, cough Mild to moderate; hacking cough Common; can be severe
Stuffy nose Common Sometimes
Sore throat Common Sometimes
Headache Rare Common

 

We want you to stay healthy this flu season. As part of the TaleMed family, we’re here to support you, so contact us if you have any questions.

 

Give This Flu Remedy a Try This Flu Season!

While doing some research, I came across a recipe for a cold and flu remedy. Each ingredient of this turmeric-and-ginger honey bomb helps the body in unique ways:

  • 1 tablespoon fresh-grated Turmeric or 1 tablespoon powdered Turmeric. (Anti-inflammatory and powerful antioxidant)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger ground into a paste (Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. This helps fight off a wide variety of infections and threats to the immune system. It also fights off nausea, helps with muscle pain, calms indigestion and boosts brain functionality in addition to other benefits.)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (This helps the body absorb benefits of turmeric. It also has antibacterial properties.)
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup Manuka honey (4X more nutrient dense than other honey. It helps the immune system and gut)
  • For adults you can also add the optional ingredients:
    • 1 teaspoon fresh crushed garlic
    • Couple dashes of cayenne pepper

Stir all the ingredients into a small mason jar with a lid and refrigerate. It will last up to 10 days.

To take it, mix 1 teaspoon into a small glass of orange juice and drink it. You can drink it warm. Boil water and let it cool a bit. Mix 1 teaspoon in the bottom of a mug and then add the hot (but not boiling) water, so it won’t break down the honey. Drink it warm.

 

Note: Pediatricians recommend waiting until your baby is at least 12 months before introducing honey because it may contain spores of bacteria that can cause botulism. This doesn’t mean our honey supply is contaminated. These bacteria are harmless to adults and children over 1.

If you end up with the flu this season, shoot me an email at susan.abbott@talemed.com and let me know if this remedy helped.

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Advice from Susan