What to do if you have the flu - Catholic Courier

What to do if you have the flu

Not sure whether you have the flu or a cold? Not sure what to do if you do?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a symptom checker at www.flu.gov that walks people through determining whether their symptoms are flu-like and whether or not to call a doctor.

Some symptoms of H1N1 and seasonal flu are:

  • High fever

  • Cough

  • Sore throat

  • Body aches

  • Headache

  • Chills

  • Fatigue

    Some cases also involve vomiting and diarrhea.

    The symptoms appear suddenly, as opposed to the slower onset of colds, according to the state health department.

    To treat suspected low-risk and moderate H1N1 cases, the CDC recommends rest, plenty of fluids and staying at home until you’ve gone 24 hours without a fever and without taking any fever-reducing medicines.

    Contact a medical professional if you have severe or worsening symptoms, such as:

  • Trouble breathing

  • Pain or pressure in the chest or stomach

  • Bluish or grayish skin

  • Dizziness or confusion

  • Vomiting that won’t stop

  • Worsening fever or cough

    Those with severe cases or who have such chronic health conditions as cancer, blood disorders, asthma and chronic lung diseases, diabetes, kidney disorders, liver disorders, neurological disorders, neuromuscular disorders and diseases that weaken immune systems, should immediately contact their health-care providers about antiviral medications, which may cut down on the severity or duration of the disease.

    But those who go to health providers looking for quick antibiotic prescriptions for H1N1 probably will be turned away, said Dr. Carlos R. Ortiz, senior vice president of medical services for Thompson Health in Canandaigua.

    “By definition, influenza is a virus, so normal antibiotics won’t affect it,” he said.

    However, people whose H1N1 or seasonal-flu symptoms seemed to subside but then quickly worsened may have developed post-flu bacterial infections, for which they should receive prompt antibiotics, Ortiz noted.

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