How do I know if I have the flu?
You may have the flu if you have some or all of these symptoms:
- fever It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
- sore throat
- runny or stuffy nose
- body aches
- sometimes diarrhea and vomiting
What should I do if I get sick?
If you get sick with flu-like symptoms this flu season, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. Most people with 2009 H1N1 have had mild illness and have not needed medical care or antiviral drugs and the same is true of seasonal flu.
- Stay home - that includes not going to the store or any other public place.
- REST - the BEST way to help the body heal
- Drink lots of fluids - helps the body get rid of germs
- Vomiting and fluids - Wait about an hour after vomiting has stopped to give a few sips of fluids. If those stay down, give a few sips every 15 minutes for a few hours before trying light foods.
- Diarrhea and fluids - Drink lots of fluids if there is diarrhea and no vomiting. Very important.
- Eat light - easy to digest foods - Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast - Called the BRAT diet
- Call the doctor
- if the temperature goes over 102˚,
- if diarrhea or vomiting lasts more than 8 hours,
- if they have trouble breathing
What medicine to give kids to lower their fever?
- Tylenol also know as acetaminophen
- Motrin or Advil also know as Ibuprofen
Never give kids aspirin or anything that has Aspirin in it. Aspirin can cause Reye's Syndrome, a deadly disease, strikes swiftly and can attack any child, teen, or young adult without warning. All body organs are affected, with the liver and brain suffering most seriously.
Some people are more likely to get flu complications and they should talk to a health care provider about whether they need to be examined if they get flu symptoms this season. They are:
- Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
- People 65 and older
- Pregnant women
- People who have: Cancer, Blood disorders (including sickle cell disease), Chronic lung disease including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Diabetes, Heart disease, Kidney disorders, Liver disorders, Neurological disorders (including nervous system, brain or spinal cord), Neuromuscular disorders (including muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis), Weakened immune systems (including people with AIDS)
Also, it’s possible for healthy people to develop severe illness from the flu so anyone concerned about their illness should consult a health care provider.
What are the emergency warning signs?
There are emergency warning signs. Anyone who has them should get medical care right away.
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing
- Bluish skin color
- Not drinking enough fluids - dehydration
- 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
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe or persistent vomiting
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.
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 for other things you have to do and no one else can do for you. (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 making them sick. If you must leave home, for example to get medical care, wear a face mask if you have one, or cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. And wash your hands often to keep from spreading flu to others.