A Guide to the Flu
Influenza, or the flu, is a common seasonal illness. Each year the influenza virus evolves, therefore, it is recommended that you and your child receive a flu vaccine each year. The flu vaccine is available in our offices starting in the fall of each year.
Although the symptoms are similar to the common cold, they may become severe enough to require hospitalization or even lead to death. On average 20,000 children under the age of 5 are hospitalized and nearly 140 pediatric deaths occur due to the flu each year.
Tips for Preventing the Flu
There are a number of measures that the CDC recommends that you and your child take to avoid getting and spreading the flu. These include:
Avoid close contact. Especially contact with those who are sick. If you are sick, you should avoid contact with others.
Stay home when you are sick. Not only will this help prevent the spread of germs, but it will ensure that you don’t over-exert yourself as you are recovering.
Cover your mouth and nose. Sneezing and coughing are the easiest ways for viruses to spread.
Keep your hands clean. Wash your hands often, not just when you use the restroom. You pick up a lot of germs on your hands throughout the day. If you’re out in public during flu season, there’s a good chance you’ll pick up the flu.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Even if you keep your hands clean, viruses easily enter the body through the orifices on your face.
Practice good health habits. Make sure to disinfect surfaces that are touched frequently. For example, wipe down a shopping cart handle before using. Additionally, make sure you get plenty of sleep, eat nutritious food and drink a lot of fluids.
Make sure you teach these good habits to your child so when they are not by your side, they will help prevent the flu from spreading.
The flu season can start in October and last until May, but the majority of flu cases occur between December and February. We are continuing to see cases of flu in our community at this time.
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Your body will usually fight the flu virus on its own. Eventually it will pass with plenty of rest and drinking a lot of fluids.
However, if you or your child is having signs of severe illness, you have questions about your health, or you are not sure if you have the flu, please call our office.
Signs of severe illness include:
- Increased work of breathing or fast breathing
- Urinating less or dry mouth (signs of dehydration)
- High fever or fever that lasts more than a few days
- Worsening pain or other symptoms.
We are here to help keep your child healthy and treat any illnesses they may get. We are always available to answer any questions you may have.
Call us at our Clinton Crossing office at (585) 244-9720 or our Bushnell’s Basin office at (585) 381-3780.
Information received from www.cdc.gov