If you’re noticing fewer colleagues at work and kids with rising temperatures, then you know, flu season is in full swing.
As experts in pharmaceutical care, we receive numerous questions about flu symptoms, how to treat the flu, and most importantly, how to protect loved ones from getting it.
Let’s start from the top … the flu is a respiratory illness that affects the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs. The flu is contagious and spreads virally through coughing, sneezing or even talking. It’s important to note, while not common, the flu can also spread by touching objects containing the virus and then touching your eyes, mouth or nose.
This virus often starts suddenly and can sometimes be confused with a cold, because not everyone experiences a fever. That’s why it’s essential to understand other primary common symptoms which include a cough, sort throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue. Unfortunately, children may also suffer from diarrhea and/or vomiting.
With all these symptoms, the flu maintains a highly contagious phase of 3-4 days after the illness begins, and for some, it can last as long as 5-7 days. Every year the flu continues to be widespread among children and adults over 65, who are most susceptible to the virus.
If you’re one of the unlucky ones, who finds themselves with unexpected aches, throat pain and increased tiredness, you’re probably realizing, the flu is on its way – and now all that matters, is controlling the symptoms.
That’s when you’ll quickly learn that the flu has a mind of its own. Your best defense is bed rest and lots of fluids. Over the counter medicine can aid in fever management and decreased bodyaches. It’s one day at a time, and staying in bed with blankets up to your neck is likely the best remedy. However, if you do have a more severe case or are at risk for complications, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication. As you recover, you’ll regain strength and a healthy appetite, while other symptoms slowly subside. Though healing times differ for everyone, most people suffering from the flu virus should find comfort in 3-5 days.
Now you know the worst of it, but how can you prevent it? When we’re surrounded by people every day, it can be difficult to ensure you’ll make it through the season untouched. Below we’ve provided some helpful tips for keeping the flu at bay:
The number one way to prevent getting and spreading the flu virus, is getting a seasonal flu shot. This shot protects against 3 to 4 influenza viruses that have been determined to be the most common during the season.
This is a great time of year to avoid close contact with people who are sick or starting to display symptoms related to the flu.
If someone is coughing or sneezing, make certain to avoid contact, turn your head to the side, or even give someone more physical space.
Washing your hands is a great way to fight spreading germs. Use soap and water, and wash your hands often. If soap and water aren’t available, use an antibacterial hand cleanser. This is also a good time to disinfect your living space and clean frequently used household items and/or surfaces.
When you touch something that is contaminated, it can easily spread when you make contact with your eyes, nose or mouth. Be careful not to touch these areas of your face without thoroughly washing your hands first.
Keep healthy every flu season by managing your stress, drinking plenty of water, eating nutritious food and staying physically active.
Just remember … while flu season can put an obstacle in your way and disrupt your plans, we’re here to help you through it; and in no time, you’ll be back to yourself!
For more information, come visit Las Vegas Pharmacy at 2600 W. Sahara Ave., Ste. 120. Our friendly staff is dedicated to your health with premium service, reduced wait times and online check-in.
Here’s to wishing you a healthy flu season!