How to Fight the Flu

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How to Fight the Flu - Friday, January 19, 2018
From the Louisiana Office of Public Health

Symptoms of the flu include:
Fever (over 100 degrees F.)
Cough, sore throat
Body aches

For most people, the flu can easily be treated at home with bedrest fever-reducing, and antiviral medicines. However, people who have underlying medical conditions, women who are pregnant, or very young children should contact their doctor if they develop flu symptoms to see if they need further interventions or medications.

Germs are usually spread when a person breathes in respiratory droplets from someone who is sick. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air for a short distance (3 feet). Germs can also be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated from another person such as a desk or doorknob, and then touches his or her own eyes, mouth or nose before washing hands.

To reduce the risk of getting any illness, please do the following:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• If you have cold symptoms or have fever greater than 100.3. Stay away from others until you have not had a fever for 24 hours.
• Call your doctor immediately to see if an antiviral medication is appropriate for you.
• If you are sick, do not visit vulnerable loved ones who may be receiving care in a hospital, nursing home, cancer center or other setting.
• If you are sick, do not kiss babies, pregnant women, grandparents, and others who may be at a higher risk of getting sick.
• Cover your cough and sneeze.
• Try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Wash your hands frequently.
• Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
• It’s not too late to get a flu shot.

If you suspect a child has the flu, it is important that he/she does not attend school or go anywhere else – such as group childcare, the mall, or sporting events – where other people would be exposed to their flu germs.

It is also important to teach children how to reduce their risk of getting the flu and protect others from infection.

- Teach children to cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or by coughing into the inside of their elbow. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve – not your hands.
- Teach children to wash their hands often. Washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is ideal (that’s about as long as it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday” song twice).

- Teach children the proper use of hand sanitizer (if they are too young, they should not use hand sanitizers on their own. Keep hand sanitizers away from young children). Gels, rubs, and hand wipes all work well, as long as they contain at least 60 percent alcohol. Hand wipes must be disposed of properly. Always read and follow label instructions when using hand sanitizer.

- Teach children to keep their hands away from their face and avoid touching their mouth, nose or eyes.

- Help children to learn these healthy habits by setting a good example and always doing them yourself.


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