Advice Before Winter Comes By Dr. Sue McGladdery From FirstMed Centers

  • 20 Oct 2010 1:00 AM
Advice Before Winter Comes By Dr. Sue McGladdery From FirstMed Centers
What is influenza (flu)? - Influenza (flu) is a viral infection that typically happen in late fall and winter. People often use the term "flu" to describe any kind of mild illness, such as a cold or a stomach virus that has symptoms like the flu. But the real flu is different. Flu symptoms are usually worse than those of a cold and last longer. The flu, moreover, usually does not cause vomiting or diarrhea.

What are the symptoms?
The flu causes a fever, body aches, a headache, a dry cough, and a sore or dry throat. You will probably feel tired and less hungry than usual. The symptoms usually are the worst for the first 3 or 4 days. But it can take 1 to 2 weeks to get completely better.

It usually takes 1 to 4 days to get symptoms of the flu after you have been around someone who has the virus.

Most people get better without problems. But sometimes the flu can lead to a bacterial infection, such as an ear infection, a sinus infection, or bronchitis. In rare cases, the flu may cause a more serious problem, such as pneumonia.

Certain people are at higher risk of problems from the flu. They include young children, pregnant women, older adults, and people with long-term illnesses or with impaired immune systems that make it hard to fight infection.

How is it treated?
Most people can treat flu symptoms at home. Home treatment includes resting, drinking plenty of fluids, and taking medicine to lower your fever.

If you think you have the flu, your doctor may be able to give you medicine that can make the symptoms milder. But you need to start taking it within 2 days of your first symptoms.

Maintaining a healthy immune system is your best bet for avoiding the flu. Avoid the tissue box this year by following these simple steps.

Step 1: Take the flu shot!
Step 2: Avoid sharing drinking and eating utensils with people who are sick.
Step 3: Wash your hands before eating. It really does help keep germs away.
Step 4: Increase your vitamin C intake which may boost your immune system by eating ample amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables. Oranges, tomatoes and broccoli are good choices.
Step 5: Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Herbal teas and diluted fruit juices are good options for increasing your water intake.
Step 6: Get enough sleep. Most people need at least 7 to 8 hours a night for optimal rest.
Step 7: Manage your stress. Chronic stress can weaken the immune system.
Step 8: Take a multivitamin every day to make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals.
Step 9: Exercise regularly. It's been shown to reduce the occurrence of colds and flu.

Flu shot is now available at FirstMed, please ask for a flu-shot appointment with the nurses and also ask about the contraindications before signing up!

Taking it will only take a few minutes of your time but can save you a lot of inconvenience and time spent at the doctor’s and the pharmacy during the winter.

We now offer work place group vaccinations as well. Please inquire about the details on +36-1-224-9090"

Dr. Sue McGladdery
Medical Director
FirstMed Centers

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