Cold and Flu Facts to Keep You Well in 2017

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Now that we are well into the start of the new year and the winter flu season, please make sure to consider the following simple steps (from the CDC website) to minimize the chances of acquiring the flu and of transmitting any infections to your family, friends and co-workers:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or the crook of your elbow for unexpected coughs and sneezes. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it and then wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use the hand sanitizers located throughout campus and clinic
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
  • For those wishing to get a flu vaccine, contact your doctor or use a vaccine search tool to help you find a provider or clinic that currently has vaccines.

How do I know if I have the flu?

You may have the flu if you have some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever (Not everyone with the flu will have a fever)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Possibly diarrhea and vomiting

What should I do if I get sick?

If you get sick with flu-like symptoms, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs.

How long should I stay home if I’m sick?
The CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other things you have to do and no one else can do for you. Use a fever reducer if necessary. You should stay home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings.

Here’s wishing you great health in the new year!

by Jamey Wallace, ND, Chief Medical Officer, Bastyr Center for Natural Health