Influenza season is here in full force. CDC has indicated high prevalence of influenza activity in the state of North Carolina. It is difficult to differentiate between Flu and Common Cold however Flu is more severe illness. Cold may present as symptoms of runny stuffy nose, sneezing scratchy throat and general malaise but Flu is associated high fevers, general body aches, dry cough, severe fatigue or tiredness and all the symptoms associated with Cold.
You can prevent Flu by taking Flu Vaccine, it is never too late to take the Flu vaccine but remember it takes at least 2 weeks for the Flu vaccine to be effective. Avoid being close to a known Flu patient. Avoid touching your nose or eyes before washing your hands with soap and water or sanitize with alcohol based sanitizers if you touch soiled surfaces. If your close contact is diagnosed with Influenza, your doctor can prescribe you anti-viral Influenza medication to prevent flu.
If you think you have Flu it is good idea to stay home to prevent spread to your co-workers or your community in general and contact your doctor for treatment. Flu is very contagious, cover your cough and sneezing and if your hands are soiled with your nasal secretions, cough or sneeze, either wash your hands with soap and water or sanitize with alcohol based sanitizers to prevent spread of flu.
Influenza is serious illness and Pneumonia is serious complication of Influenza. Seek help if you have shortness of breath, chest pains or persistent fevers.Influenza vaccine is the key to prevent Flu at home, work and in community.
Balwinder Sidhu, M.D.
This is the time of the year when lot of us make resolutions for the new year. The resolutions to promote health and well-being. I will mention couple of habits that impact the health tremendously and worth considering for the new year resolutions. First is exercise and second is tobacco use.
Exercise has significant benefit in reducing cardiovascular risks of heart attacks and strokes. Exercise not only helps to prevent diabetes and weight gain but is good for your mental health too. It helps older adults to prevent falls and maintain cognitive function All adults 18-64 years are recommended by scientific evidence to do 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise 5 days a week. Health benefits of physical activity far outweigh any risks, however, if you have chronic health problems you should discuss with your physician before starting any exercise program.
If you do not smoke make resolution to never start and if you do smoke then make the resolution to stop smoking in 2013. Breathing problems with Emphysema and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) are the most obvious diseases related to smoking known to the general public. Tobacco use is also associated with premature death by increasing your risk for cardiovascular diseases like heart attack, stroke and Peripheral arterial disease on one hand and increasing your chances of various cancers of mouth, throat, lung, esophagus and bladder on the other hand.
It will be great way to start new year by adopting a good habit of exercising and discarding a bad habit of smoking, thus taking 2 giant steps towards a longer healthier life. Season’s greetings and happy healthier 2013.
Welcome to my blog. I will be posting tidbits of usable information to live a healthier life. I will try to provide links to other sites to help you gather more info about various health topics. Happy holidays.
Balwinder Sidhu, M.D.