Flu season is upon us! Hospitals in the area, including BID-Milton, began to see a spike in flu cases in mid-December. Here is some important information to help you feel better if the flu has gotten the best of you.
First, some background. Influenza, commonly known as flu, is a viral infection. Symptoms include body aches, congestion, sore throat, fever, headache, dry cough, fatigue, and in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea. The fever and aches usually last two to four days, with the cough persisting another one to two weeks. In some cases, fever alone can last up to seven days.
The Mass. Department of Public Health offers some very valuable information about flu prevention and treatment. You can access this information by clicking here. Some general helpful tips are also included below.
To help relieve your flu symptoms:
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may help ease your cough, pain and fever. Do NOT take aspirin.
- Get plenty of rest.
To help reduce the spread of flu:
- Limit contact with others while you are contagious. Stay home from school or work.
- Cough into your sleeve.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Get a flu shot every year! Not only will you reduce your chances of getting flu, you’ll help stop the flu from spreading.
Contact your physician if you develop:
- shortness of breath
- wheezing that is not controlled by an inhaler,
- a productive cough (yellow or green phlegm),
- chest pain,
- an increasing fever that is not responding to the acetaminophen or ibuprofen,
- any new or worsening symptoms, or if you do not improve as expected.
For more information about flu, visit www.mass.gov/flu.