The flu is a serious contagious disease, and St. Francis recommends a yearly seasonal flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against seasonal flu. Pregnant women, young children and their caregivers, and those with pre-existing medical conditions have a higher risk of having the flu.
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How can I protect myself and my family?
- Get a flu vaccine. Contact any Bon Secours Medical Group family practice or internal medicine office to receive your vaccine. Many offer the nose spray option in addition to the shot.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or sneeze into your sleeve. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based gel hand cleaners are also good to use.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs can spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people. (If you have been around someone who has the flu, notify your doctor to see if you need to be treated for the flu).
- Have a plan to care for sick family members.
- Stock up on household, health, and emergency supplies such as water and Tylenol.
What are flu-like symptoms?
Flu-like symptoms come suddenly, and can include: fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting.
What should I do if I get sick?
If sick with flu-like symptoms, it is important to stay home and limit contact with others to avoid spread of infection. Call your primary care provider, and he/she will decide if you need to be treated.
If you have had close contact with someone with the flu or being treated for exposure to the flu, contact your doctor to discuss whether you need treatment to reduce your chances of getting the flu.
How is the flu treated?
Contact your doctor to see if you need antiviral drugs -- antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu fight against the flu by keeping the germs from growing in your body. These medicines can make you feel better faster and make your symptoms milder. Antiviral drugs work best when started soon after symptoms begin (within 2 days). Secondly, drink plenty of fluids.
When should I get emergency medical care?
Please seek emergency care if you exhibit any of the following symptoms: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting, and/or a high fever that is not responding to Tylenol. Directions to Emergency Room >>