What Should You Do If You Get The Flu?

This blog was originally posted on JustCare.

Most doctors and other health experts agree that the flu shot is worth it, particularly for children and older adults, who are at highest risk for complications if they get the flu. But, this flu season, the vaccine is not as effective as it can be, and a lot of people who have gotten the flu vaccine are getting the flu. What should you do if you get the flu? Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control:

  1. Most people who get the flu do not need medical care or antiviral drugs; you should stay home and stay away from other people.
  2. If you are over 65 or are very sick from the flu, you may be at high risk of serious flu complications, such as pneumonia or inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissues, and you should call your doctor. You may need antiviral treatment, which is most effective if it begins within two days of getting the flu. Avoid going to the emergency room if you are only mildly sick.
  3. To prevent infecting others, stay home, if possible, for at least one full day after your fever passes, unless you need to go to the doctor. The flu is extremely contagious.
  4. If you must leave home or be in contact with others, wear a face mask if possible. You also should wash your hands frequently.

How can you reduce your chances of getting the flu? Here are some tips from the National Institute on Aging:

  1. You should get the flu shot if you have not yet gotten it, because even if it does not keep you from getting the flu, it could help prevent a severe case of the flu. Medicare pays for it.
  2. Keep as much of a distance from people with the flu as possible. You can catch the flu from breathing in flu droplets in the air left by a sneeze or cough from someone several feet away from you.
  3. Wash your hands often. You can also get the flu from touching something with the virus on it, because someone with the flu has been near it, and then touching your nose or mouth.

What are the emergency indicators of the flu for adults?

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain in the chest or stomach
  • Sudden dizziness or confusion
  • Severe or ongoing vomiting

What are the best treatments for a mild case of the flu?

  • Drink a lot of liquids, including water and juice; avoid alcohol.
  • Get a lot of rest.
  • Do not smoke.

How do you know if you have the flu? Here are most if not all of the symptoms:

  • fever and chills
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • body and head aches
  • fatigue
  • at times, diarrhea and vomiting