Protect Yourself Against the Flu - Carson Tahoe Health

Dr. Andrea Weed, Internal Medicine Physician and Chief of Medical Staff at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center

Dr. Andrea Weed discusses influenza and what you can do to help prevent and treat it.

“There are a lot of prevention methods that will help reduce your risk of catching the flu,” explained Dr. Weed. “With several influenza strains out there – including H1N1 or Swine Flu – everyone should take extra care to stay healthy.”

Prevention techniques

· Talk to your physician about getting vaccinated for seasonal influenza, including H1N1
· Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze; throw away the tissue when done
· Cough or sneeze into your sleeve rather than your hands
· Wash your hands with soap and water
· Use antibacterial hand sanitizer
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
· Try to avoid contact with sick people
· If you get sick with influenza, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others

Symptoms

· Fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit
· Cough
· Sore throat
· Body aches
· Nausea
· Vomiting
· Diarrhea

When to seek medical treatment

“It is expected that most people will recover without needing medical care and should stay home,” said Dr. Weed. “However, if your influenza symptoms have not improved after 48 hours, you experience worsening respiratory symptoms, increasing temperatures, or have underlying health issues such as pregnancy, asthma, obesity, COPD, diabetes or autoimmune disorder and are experiencing extreme flu-like symptoms, contact your healthcare provider or seek medical care.”

Your healthcare provider will determine whether flu testing or treatment is needed. If a visit to your doctor’s office or healthcare facility is necessary, please request a mask from your provider. Those with influenza should stay home during the first signs of symptoms to at least 24 hours after their fever is gone.

For more information, call the flu hotline at (866) 767-5038.