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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Flu: What To Do If You Get Sick

You may have the flu if you have some or all of these symptoms:

Fever of 100.4F or higher*, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting.
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

What should I do if I get sick?
Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a high-risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider (doctor, physician assistant, etc.).

Certain people are at high risk of serious flu-related complications (including young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions). This is true both for seasonal flu and novel flu virus infections. If you are in a high-risk group and develop flu symptoms, it’s best for you to contact your doctor early in your illness. Remind them about your high-risk status for flu.

CDC recommends that people at high risk for complications should get antiviral treatment as early as possible, because benefit is greatest if treatment is started within 2 days after illness onset.  If you think you have the flu and would like a prescription for the antivirals an appointment is not necessary, just log-on to the patient portal and request a prescription or call the office at (352) 394-4237 and select triage. If the phone is busy just leave us a message and we will send it to the pharmacy, we have on file for you.

Do I need to go the emergency room if I am only a little sick?
No. The emergency room should be used for people who are very sick. You should not go to the emergency room if you are only mildly ill. If you have the emergency warning signs of flu sickness, you should go to the emergency room. If you get sick with flu symptoms and are at high risk of flu complications or you are concerned about your illness, call your health care provider for advice. If you go to the emergency room and you are not sick with the flu, you may catch it from people who do have it.

What are the emergency warning signs of flu sickness?

In children:
* Fast breathing or trouble breathing
* Bluish skin color
* Not drinking enough fluids
* Not waking up or not interacting
* Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
* Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
* Fever with a rash
In addition to the signs above, get medical help right away for any infant who has any of these signs:
* Being unable to eat
* Has trouble breathing
* Has no tears when crying
* Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal

In adults:
* Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
* Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
* Sudden dizziness
* Confusion
* Severe or persistent vomiting
* Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough

How long should I stay home if I’m sick?
CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol®. You should stay home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings.

What should I do while I’m sick?
Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. If you must leave home, for example to get medical care, wear a facemask if you have one, or cover cough

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