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.