The FLU SEASON is coming…
Read more about he FLU below:
This information and other health topics can be found at….
This is a specific viral illness that has similar and overlapping symptoms with common cold/respiratory viruses but is unique in that it is much more virulent (symptoms are significantly worse). This infection is specifically seasonal, typically in Arizona from November until March with the peak incidence in December, January, and February.
Most Common Symptoms
They consist of the same set of symptoms as the common cold/rival respiratory syndrome, but they are worse.
- High fever (often over 102 degrees, but can range from 99’s to 104+)
- Aching muscles throughout the body
- Pain in the muscles around the eyes with movement of the eyes
- Sore throat
- Sinus congestion
- Severe cough
- Excessive mucous production (sinus and chest)
- Occasionally diarrhea
What to Do at Home
Symptomatic treatment for the most bothersome symptoms
Aches and Pains and Fever:
- Use anti-inflammatory medication. Advil (Ibuprofen 200mg), 2–3 tablets….2–3 x per day or Aleve (naproxen 220mg), 1–2 tablets…1–2 x per day, or Tylenol 650–1000mg four times per day.
- Drink good amounts of clear liquids (anything you can see through)
- Salt water gargling
- Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water.
- Gargle for 15 seconds and spit.
- Repeat during the day every 2–4 hours to relieve pain.
- Pain relief medications: Advil (Ibuprofen 200mg), 2–3 tablets….2–3 x per day or Aleve (naproxen 220mg), 1–2 tablets…1–2 x per day, or Tylenol 650–1000mg four times per day.
Sinus Congestion and Drainage:
- Use a decongestant such as Sudafed 30mg, 1–2 pills up to four times per day, or use a drying antihistamine such as Chlortrimeton 4mg, up to four times per day. Other cold medications (over the counter) can be used.
- Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra will not work for congestion symptoms from an infection. Do Not Use.
- Steam: Either in the form of a hot, steamy shower or using a hot pot of water and covering with a towel and put your head under the towel. Both methods will provide humid air to the irritated air passages and soothe the cough.
- Cough Syrup: Robitussin DM or Delsym cough syrup can be used to suppress cough.
- You may require a prescription cough syrup with Codeine. Contact me if that is the case.
When to Seek Medical Assistance
- If it’s during flu season and you have high fever, aches and pains, and sore throat/cough….prescription treatment is reasonable to reduce symptoms and shorten the course of illness.
- Flu medication (Tamiflu..twice daily for 5 days) can shorten the course of symptoms. Earlier is better, but you can take this later in the course of the flu.
- Xofluza….single dose (2 pills) is best taken very early in the course of the flu (within 48 hours). It significantly reduces the duration and severity of symptoms in just one single dose.
Worsening symptoms/Signs of Complications:
- If fever is over 101 degrees and symptoms are worsening after 2–3 days and fever is persisting at a night level.
- If cough produces blood tinged mucous
- If confusion is associated with the above symptoms
- If you get a rash with the above symptoms
If any of the above symptoms occur…..you may want to be checked for complications of THE FLU. Come to the office to be evaluated
How Long to Recover
- The flu is a viral infection that will generally take from 3–5 days to improve and then from 7–14 days to completely resolve.
- Plan on being away from the general public for the first three days, although you may remain infectious for a week. Rest and drink fluids for the first few days then your activities are ‘as tolerated.’
How to Prevent
- Avoid people who you know are significantly ill particularly during the flu season
- Consider getting the FLU SHOT. This is an immunization that is given in late summer through the winter and can markedly reduce your chances of getting the flu.
Wash your hands and use alcohol-based hand cleansers frequently