2017 Flu Update:
The DFW Metroplex has been hit especially hard with flu this season. The Center for Disease Control Influenza Surveillance has shown that 90% of flu cases this year are caused by Type A flu. I have seen a similar prevalence of Type A flu in our area and believe that it will likely get worse before it gets better. We began seeing these flu cases in early December of this past year, and I believe we have at least two more months of flu season left. I have addressed some key questions to help you combat this flu season:
What should I look for if I think I have the flu?
- Fever (temperature greater than or equal to 100.4 degrees)
- Body aches
- Back aches
- Muscle aches
- Fast heart rate
- Upset stomach and diarrhea
What can I do to protect myself and my family from the flu?
- Get vaccinated (even though many cases have effected people who have received the flu shot this year, these patients typically have less severe symptoms and for a shorter period of time)
- Frequent hand washing with soap and water when available or hand sanitizers when soap and water is not available
- Avoid close, personal contact such as shaking hands or sharing drinks with individuals who appear sick
- Keep sick children and adults home from school and work until they have been fever free for 24 hours
- If you or any of your family members are having any of the above symptoms of the flu, see your physician as soon as possible
What should I do if I think I, or my family, have the flu?
- See your physician as soon as possible. It is important to be treated with antiviral medications because they are more effective earlier on in the infectious time period.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If you are having vomiting and/or diarrhea symptoms, drink electrolyte solutions commonly found in sports drinks to replenish your system. Follow a BRAT diet, which is heavy in bread and starches.
- Be extra vigilant in minimizing personal contact -- stay home from school or work until you have been fever free for at least 24 hours.