You have the flu, now what do you do?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Christmas has been over for a month, and it's that time of year again already -- no not Valentine's Day -- flu season.

Gothenburg school were closed for a time this week because of the flu, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Nebraska's level of flu activity went from "sporadic" to "regional" because two or more regions of the state reported significant numbers of flu cases.

It's still not too late to get a flu shot, said Dr. Joann Schaefer, chief medical officer for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Late January and early February are usually the time flu peaks in the state.

The virus is spread primarily through coughs and sneezes. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, nasal congestion, dry cough and muscle aches, which may last 5-7 days or more.

Besides a flu shot, there are other steps you can take to protect yourself and your family -- especially infants, the elderly and people with serious medical conditions.

* Get vaccinated.

* Avoid close contact with others who are sick.

* Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an anibacterial lotion.

* Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

If you get the flu:

* Drink plenty of fluids.

* Avoid using alcohol and tobacco.

* Take medication according to directions to relieve symptoms.

Antibiotics don't work on viruses, so don't ask your physician for a prescription, Dr. Schaefer said.

More information about flu is available at www.dhhs.ne.gov

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: