Call in sick!
That’s the advice from the nation’s emergency physicians if you happen to have flu-like symptoms. Doctors say it’s one of the best ways to help prevent the spread of this year’s particularly aggressive national flu outbreak.
“Even with flu-like symptoms, many people still try to go to work, school or other activities,” said Dr. Andrew Sama, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians. “This is only making a bad situation worse, spreading the virus and getting more people sick. Not to mention, you are putting yourself at greater risk of worsening your current health situation such as developing pneumonia.” Doctors advise that you rest at home until you start to feel better.
ACEP contacted emergency physicians throughout the country to get an idea of what they are experiencing in their emergency departments. The general consensus is that they are seeing significantly higher numbers of patients with flu symptoms compared to this time in past years.
Those at highest risk of flu include the elderly, pregnant women and people with special medical needs. See your doctor or go to the nearest emergency department if you feel you need to go.
Typical symptoms include fever, sore throat, runny nose and upper respiratory symptoms, headache, fatigue, and muscle or body aches. To get over it quickly, doctors advise that you drink plenty of liquids, get rest, and if diagnosed early take antiviral medication.
It is not too late to get the flu vaccine if you haven’t done so already. Also, it’s important to take routine preventative measures like washing your hands regularly, wiping down workstations and covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze and cough.
If you’re interested in getting vaccinated, call the health department’s Flu Hotline at (317) 221-2121, or visit MCHD.com to find health office locations.