How do you know if you have the flu? Common signs of influenza are high fever, severe body aches, headache, extreme tiredness, sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose, and vomiting, and or, diarrhea, which is more common in children.
If your child (up to age 19) comes down with the flu, do not give him or her anything with aspirin (salicylate) in it. That includes items like pepto-bismol, alka-seltzer, Excedrin, and so on. In place of aspirin products use Tylenol, Advil, or Motrin. For a more complete list of medications that contain salicylates see: http://www.ReyesSyndrome.Org/literature.html
According to the CDC, the best protection against the flu is to get a flu vaccine, which is still widely available.
Here are some simple steps you can take to help prevent the spread of the flu;
1) Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue, or use your sleeve when coughing or sneezing, and throw the tissue away after use. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands. Then, be sure you use a sanitizer on your hands to kill off germs.
2) Wash your hands often, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60 to 95 percent alcohol) especially after coughing or sneezing, or touching public doors, stairway railings,other people’s computer mouse and keyboards, and so on.
3) Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
4) And if you’re sick, or your child is sick, stay home!
5) Carry anti-bacterial wipes with you, along with alcohol-based hand sanitizer (Must be 60 to 95 percent alcohol to be effective).
If someone in your household comes down with the flu, the best way to care for them is to designate one person to be the caregiver.
As a caregiver, use plastic throw away gloves when handling items touched by the person who is sick. Be sure to clean or dispose of gloves frequently, and wash your hands well with soap and water after removing your gloves.
If you can separate the one who is sick from the rest of the family, that might ease the contagion, also.
Keep everyone’s personal items separated. Household members should avoid sharing pens, papers, clothes, towels, sheets, blankets, drinking, food or eating utensils unless thoroughly cleaned between uses.
Disinfect doorknobs, light switches, handles, computers, telephones, toys and other surfaces that are commonly touched around the home or workplace.
Wash everyone’s dishes in the dishwasher or by hand using very hot water and soap.
Wash everyone’s clothes in a standard washing machine using detergent and very hot water, and wash your hands after handling dirty laundry.
Wear disposable gloves when in contact with or cleaning up body fluids.
It may be difficult to tell if you, or a family member are suffering from the flu or another illness. Your doctor should be consulted if you are concerned about flu-like symptoms, especially profuse and projectile vomiting, delirium, and overly lethargic actions in children. Contact your doctor immediately should these symptoms appear. (Learn more about Reye’s Syndrome)