Flu season is here
by Sublette County Rural Health Care District
January 14, 2015
Influenza is now reported as 'widespread' in 46 states, with 26 states showing high levels of ILI activity.
Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
• Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
• Sore throat
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Muscle or body aches
• Fatigue (tiredness)
• Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
The Flu is Contagious
People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Most healthy adults may be able to infect other people beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Symptoms start 1 to 4 days after the virus enters the body. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.
Most people DO NOT need to see a doctor and DO NOT need prescription TAMIFLU. Tylenol and motrin per manufacturer’s recommendations and pushing fluids are useful.
TAMIFLU is recommended as early as possible for any patient with confirmed or suspected influenza who: is hospitalized; has severe, complicated, or progressive illness; or is at higher risk for influenza complications" (children under 2, adults 65 and over, or patients with COPD, heart disease, diabetes, or nursing home residents). Tamiflu if effective may only shorten symptoms by ˝ day.
Adverse events with TAMIFLU: nausea, vomiting. Postmarketing reports of serious skin reactions and sporadic, transient neuropsychiatric events (self-injury or confusion)