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Take extra precautions during flu season’s peak

Colleton Medical Center.  Photo submitted

Colleton Medical Center. Photo submitted

Colleton promotes prevention, so its physicians highly encourage their patients to get vaccinated against the flu. Flu vaccinations are recommended for almost everyone except children under 6 months of age, those who are highly allergic to eggs and those with GBS, a severe paralytic illness. Even if you have been diagnosed with the flu this season, you still can benefit from the vaccination, which protects against more than one flu strain. (It is possible to get sick with the flu more than once in a season because of the variance of strains.)

Another effective prevention tool is hand hygiene. Everyone should try to wash their hands with soap and water (for as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song) or use antibacterial gel before eating and before touching their eyes, noses and mouths. This can protect against the spread of colds and other nasty viruses as well.

Flu symptoms come on suddenly, within 24 to 48 hours of contact with the virus, and usually include a high fever. Other symptoms are headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and muscle aches.

When flu is suspected, it’s a good idea to see a healthcare provider who can check on potential complications and determine whether you are eligible for antiviral medication such as Tamiflu or Relenza. Antivirals should be taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.

Aside from seeing the doctor, anyone with the flu should stay home, stay hydrated and rest until their fever has dropped below 100.4 for at least 24 hours. “It’s a virus, and it takes time to run its course,” says Dr. Edwards.

Call 843-782-2525 to schedule a flu vaccination or an appointment with a healthcare provider for flu diagnosis and treatment.

 

Special to The Colletonian (3424 Posts)