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Seasonal Information


Getting Ready For Flu Season

Influenza, commonly referred to as "the flue", is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Infection with these viruses can result in illness ranging from mild to severe and life-threatening complications. As estimated 5% to 20% of U.S. residents get the flu each year. An average of 114,000 people are hospitalized for flu related complications and 36,000 Americans die each year from the flu.

flu symptomsSymptoms of the flu include: fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and muscle aches. Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are much more common among children than adults.

The main way the influenza virus is spread is from person to person in respiratory droplets of a cough or sneeze. Scientific studies show that adults can shed a virus from 1 day before developing symptoms to up to 7 days after getting sick. In general, more viruses are shed earlier in the illness than later.

The single best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated each fall, providing you do not have contraindications to receiving influenza vaccine. Other preventive steps to help prevent the spread of illnesses like flu are:

Library Article Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick also.

Library Article Stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick.

Library Article Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

Library Article Washing your hands often throughout the day will help protect you from germs.

Library Article Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs.

If you develop the flu, it is advisable to get plenty of rest, drink lots of liquids and avoid using alcohol and tobacco. You can also take medications to relieve the symptoms of the flu. Never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, especially with fever, without first speaking to your doctor.

Four antiviral medications (amantadine, rimantadine, zanamavir and oseltamivir) have been approved for treatment of the flu. All these must be prescribed by a physician. Antiviral treatment last for 5 days and must be started within the first 2 days of illness.

If you are at special risk from complications of flu, consult your physician when your symptoms begin. This includes people over 65 years or older, people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women or children.
vaccine
The total amount of influenza vaccine doses to be produced for the 2004-2005 season is about 95 million. Last year cases of influenza began to appear in October with widespread activity in November and December. This year the CDC has increased its purchase of vaccines by nearly 2 million doses over last year.


Primary Medical Care Website Medical Disclaimer Information provided on this web site is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice and is not intended to replace the services of a physician, nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. You should not use information on this web site or the information on links from this site to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. If you have or suspect you have an urgent medical problem, promptly contact a professional healthcare provider. Primary Medical Care advises you to always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Any application of the recommendations in this website is at the reader's discretion. As a courtesy, Primary Medical Care may provide links to outside sources and websites operated by other parties; however, Primary Medical Care is not responsible for information produced by other parties or on other web sites. The links are provided for your convenience only. The inclusion of links does not imply any endorsement of the materials or any association with their producers. Primary Medical Care does not operate, control or endorse any information, products or services provided by third parties through the Internet. While we strive to keep our website current, medical practices sometimes change quickly, and we cannot guarantee accuracy of the contents.

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