February is unfortunately peak flu season. Presently the CDC is still reporting low levels of flu activity throughout King County and Washington State.
Although most cases of influenza will be mild and not require medical care, some people are at higher risk for developing complications:
- Children under 5 and adults over 65
- Pregnant women
- People with asthma, COPD and heart disease
- Anyone with a weakened immune system due to disease or medications
If you are one of these high risk people, contact your primary doctor promptly after the onset of symptoms.
There are several simple things that can reduce the likelihood of contracting the virus:
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you are sick with flu–like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
- While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
Although an unpleasant illness, the most severe symptoms often dissipate within 2-3 days, although the typical bout will last a week or more.
To learn more about flu symptoms and treatment visit the CDC’s website.