Has the flu bug hit your house this season? If your answer is no, count yourself as one of the lucky ones in Southwest Missouri (then go wash your hands. Again.)! The flu has hit SWMO and it has many of us wondering, what to do?
Thankfully, we are not fighting alone. Our sponsors at Mercy have several great tips when it comes to getting rid of this nasty bug.
Thank you to Dr. Rachelene Middleton, Mercy Clinic Family Medicine, for helping us out on this one. For many of us, besides snuggles, Sprite, and saltines, we are not really sure what to do with ourselves or our loved when we become sick with the flu. Dr. Middleton took the time to answer a few basic questions for us and we hope they help you as much as they did us!
Her number one tip? Get the flu shot! And no, it is not too late! Dr. Middleton says it is best to get the vaccination before the end of October, however, it is still available now and may be helpful for everyone ages 6 months and older.
What are the symptoms of the flu and when should I go to the doctor?
Not everybody that has flu symptoms need to come in to see their doctor right away. Depending on the patient, their medical history and severity of the symptoms, you may be able to treat with cold medicines, Tylenol and ibuprofen. If the symptoms are long-lasting or the patient is running a high fever, it is best to come into the office and have a physician take a look to make sure there is nothing else going on.
- runny nose
- sore throat
- fever/chills/body aches
How long does the flu last?
A patient with the flu could have symptoms anywhere from 5-7 days, however, you are contagious a day before you show signs of symptoms.
If I have one child or family member in the house that has the flu, what is the best way to keep others in my house from getting the flu as well?
This can be tricky because as mentioned, you are contagious a day before you show signs or symptoms of the flu. Besides receiving your annual flu shot, one of the best ways to prevent the flu is hand-washing with soap and water. Other ways to help prevent the flu from spreading include using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, sneeze or cough into your elbow and make sure others are getting plenty of rest and eating a nutritious diet.
I also encourage my patients to stay home and rest if they are sick. Don’t go out and expose other people to what you have.
Think you may have the flu? Dr. Middleton can help! If you would like to make an appointment to be seen by a Mercy physician, you can contact the Mercy Clinic Family Medicine-Smith Glynn Callaway office at 417.888.6709. The clinic is located at 3231 S. National Avenue, Springfield.
SouthwestMissouriMoms.com does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is for informational purposes only and isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor if you have questions about a medical condition. Don’t delay getting professional medical advice because of something you read online. This website doesn’t necessarily recommend or endorse or any specific tests, doctors, products, procedures or options discussed on the site.