During the flu season, many people get affected by it, but taking steps to protect yourself during the flu season is important if you do not want to come down with flu-like most people. Knowing if you have the flu or cold is also important to stay healthy.
Flu symptoms are quite common and usually come suddenly with some or all of the following symptoms.
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Feeling chills/feverish or fever
- Sore throat
- Diarrhoea and vomiting
- Body or muscle aches
Tips to prevent the flu
The following tips can help you avoid the flu.
Get the flu vaccine
Experts advise that everyone, including babies from six months, get the flu vaccine when the season’s flu vaccine is available. The vaccine is available at several places, including your primary care doctor’s office and local pharmacy, at a reduced cost.
Avoid sick people
If you can, avoid being in contact with sick people. If you are sick, remain at home to avoid spreading germs to other people.
Wash your hands
Your hand hygiene plays a vital role in preventing flu and colds from spreading. Ensure you wash your hands often, especially before eating.
Managing the flu
If you experience flu-like symptoms, you may not know what to do, but experts’ recommendations are below.
When to visit your primary care provider
If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, ensure you contact your health care provider. Antiviral therapy is available and more effective when taken 24 – 30 hours from the onset of symptoms. Adults above 65 years, pregnant women, children below one year, people with active malignancy, heart disease, diabetes, HIV, asthma, or chronic liver disease need to consult their health care provider immediately because they have a higher risk of having complications from the flu.
When to get urgent care
You need urgent medical care if you experience flu-like symptoms, including muscle stiffness, shortness of breath, decreased urination or light-headedness. Even with fever-reducing medications, you may develop complications, requiring seeing the doctor.
If you can determine how severe your symptoms are, ensure you speak to your doctor before your symptoms become worse, spreading to other people.
When to visit the ER
In most cases, flu-like illnesses are manageable at an urgent care facility or your doctor’s office. However, getting to an emergency room for flu-like symptoms is vital for people above 70 years, those experiencing chest pain, and shortness of breath or confusion. You also need to go to an ER if you can’t stay hydrated, have a severe underlying illness such as heart disease, COPD or diabetes.
Regardless of where you seek medical care for flu-like symptoms, inform the health care provider of your symptoms immediately you arrive at the facility so they can offer you a mask to prevent the illness from spreading to other patients.
Avoid waiting until your symptoms are severe before seeking medical care. Ensure you visit your private doctor near you for medical care.
Different illnesses affect many people, but the upside is regardless of which illness you have, a doctor is available for it. However, you may find it difficult to get the right doctor for your health issue. If you need medical and you’re wondering which doctor is right for you, the information below will guide you.
Several doctors in different health institutions are available in the UK, leaving a layperson confused when deciding which doctor to see. If you are residing or visiting in London, you can book a GP appointment online at www.privatedoctor.london or call on 020 7183 2792 to get medical care for the flu. Several specialists are also available such as gynaecologists and ENT doctors