CDC reporting high level of flu activity in Kentucky and Indiana
Even though it feels like spring outside, flu season is still in full swing. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported a “high” level of flu activity in 27 states, including Kentucky and Indiana.
What is influenza (also called flu)?
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness and can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year. The next line of defense is frequent hand washing using soap and warm water or using hand sanitizer after coughing, sneezing, touching your mouth, nose or using a tissue.
The flu can be spread to someone else before you know you are sick. Most adults are infectious at least one day before symptoms develop and up to seven days after becoming sick.
What should I do if I get sick?
If you are in a high-risk group (age 65 or older, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, congestive heart failure) or are worried about your symptoms, see your health care provider. If you have a MyNortonChart account, you can have a Norton eCare visit from the comfort of your home.
A health care provider will determine whether influenza testing and treatment are needed. Your provider may prescribe drugs for treating the flu called “antivirals.” These drugs may make you better faster and may prevent serious complications.
How long should I stay home if I’m sick?
You are contagious five to seven days after symptoms develop. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others for an even longer time.
Stay home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events and public gatherings when sick.
Before returning, most schools and daycares require a child to be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as acetaminophen.
What should I do while I’m sick?
- Drink plenty of liquids
- If prescribed an antiviral (Tamiflu), do not stop taking the medication when you begin to feel better. It is important to take all doses as prescribed. Note: Antibiotics don’t help the flu.
- Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
- If you must leave home, for example, to get medical care, wear a facemask if you have one.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
- Wash your hands after touching your nose, mouth or using a tissue.