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Things you need to know about the flu

The flu is a virus that causes cold symptoms, and sometimes serious complications. It can even lead to death. This flu season has hit HARD! Georgia is among one of the highest ranking states for influenza and influenza-like illnesses at present. The CDC has noted record breaking activity this year with the flu and estimates that there have been between 15-21 million flu illnesses,  7-10 million medical flu visits, and 8,200-20.000 flu related deaths between Oct 2019-Now! If you are experiencing flu symptoms such as runny or stuffy noses, headaches, fatigue vomiting, diarrhea, fever or shaking chills, cough, sore throat, then you may have the flu. Usually the flu comes on suddenly. Influenza (the flu) can cause mild illness that can be recovered from conservatively in a few days, or it can cause more severe illness that lasts up to 7-10 days. Some people develop secondary infections and complications when they have the flu or after the flu has resided, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, or other related illnesses that require further medical evaluation and treatment.

If you have Mild- Moderate FLU symptoms, Come visit ERgent Med NOW! Do not go to the Emergency Room unless you are extremely ill, or you could end up waiting in line for hours waiting to get care. ERgent med can test for flu in our office with results in minutes and have you on your way to feeling better as soon as possible! CDC advises this year that over 98% of the currently circulating influenza virus in the US is susceptible to Tamiflu (Oseltamivir), anti-viral medications.  If we can catch the flu sympomts and start anti-viral medication within 48 hours, then it can reduce the duration and severity of the symptoms, so don’t delay.

If you have been exposed to the FLU: If you are in a household with someone who has been diagnosed with Influenza, it is very reasonable that you start Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) prophylactically to avoid getting the flu. The infected person at home whould wear a mask and it is a good idea for you or those around the infected person to also wear a mask. These can be purchased at the grocery store or pharmacy usually. Those with the flu need to stay at home and away from people as much as possible. To avoid spreading the flu, wear a mask, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands frequently, do not leave Kleenexes or handkerchiefs lying around the house, avoid touching your eyes and mouth to avoid spreading germs, and clean surfaces in the house frequently with disinfectant like Lysol or Clorox.

Emergency warning signs of flu sickness that would merit taking a loved one to or going to the ER or calling 911 in children include fast breathing or extreme difficulty breathing, blue skin color, not drinking fluids, no waking up or interacting, being extremely irritable and not wanting to be held as normal, high fevers with a rash, being unable to eat, no tears when crying, no wet diapers within 12 hours. In adults, emergency warning symptoms include significant difficulty breathing/ shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure or pain in abdomen that is significant, sudden dizziness or loss of balance, high fevers with rash.

Flu Shots: In addition to protecting yourself, getting vaccinated helps protect people around you from getting the flu, including your loved ones, children, older adults, and those who are at higher risk for getting very sick with the flu.