What to do about the Flu- Guest Post from Dr. Aller

Flu Season!!! Guest Post from Whistler's Dr. Aller

 


It’s that time again- influenza season- and many of us are wondering how to prevent catching
‘the flu’ and if you do find yourself with a fever, sore throat cough sniffles etc— what to do.!

First- influenza is much nastier than a common cold: usually means a fever of 38.5 degrees Celcius or higher, runny nose, watery eyes sore throat and aching everywhere. You will have a cough and your lungs
may burn.. Watch for wheezing and shortness of breath and see your health care provider if
you have any difficulties breathing.

Step one in flu season is prevention. Flu shots!! flu shots!! flu shots!! also affectionately

known as vaccines. Now- as of this date- Jan 12 2014— you may or may not be able to find a
vaccination as everyone is taking this season’s flu seriously. Not to worry— it will be great if now you can remember for next year AND— if you have a child under 5 yrs of age, you have asthma or chronic
disease such as diabetes mellitus, COPD, coronary artery disease or if you are either pregnant
or elderly— call the local pharmacies , public health at Whistler Health Care Centre or local
physician’s offices.

OK- so your aren’t feeling well already- what to do? Use simple infection control measures:

#1: Stay home- don’t be a hero and try to ‘work through it’ , don’t send the kids to school, daycare
or ski lessons- don’t go to the gym- STAY HOME- unless you need medical attention. How
long? CDC recommends until 24 hours after your fever has returned to normal without the use
of anti-fever medications/ cough /cold tablets etc.. All employers: please do not ask for sick
notes at this time— it spreads influenza to vulnerable people and does not help.

#2: Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing- if you use a tissue throw it away immediately-
or use the inner elbow trick- ( cough/sneeze into your bent inner elbow) .

#3. Wash your hands with soap and water— you can use a hand lotion right way if your hands
are dry and cracked. Alcohol based sanitizers- think Purell help also— but do keep your skin
from drying out and cracking after washing with a skin lotion.

#4. Don’t touch- your eyes nose and mouth that is- rest is OK! Eyes nose and mouth are entry
points for those viruses ! too font carried by our hands!

#5. If you are ill with influenza- do try to limit contact with others and if you are caring for a family
member with influenza- do limit contact time— OK won’t work with kids, toddlers- etc— likely
not ill spouses! but again- don’t go to work and cough all over everyone— or their food or skis
or anything- stay home and recover.

If you ARE ill - with high fever cough runny nose aches pains sore throat etc- AND— you are
pregnant- have chronic illness ( esp asthma COPD heart disease) are on medications that affect
your immune system— OR if you are otherwise healthy and feeling very ill and short of breath— don’t wait- see your physician, ER etc— antivirals do have a place in fighting this flu— but many people do not need
them and they should not be overused or won’t ‘work’ when needed.

Again prevent, don't spread, and treat when needed.


Mandy Hamilton
Mandy Hamilton

Author