Arm Yourself Against the Flu

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There are things you can do to reduce your risk of getting the flu or colds. The same “healthy habits” can help you avoid both illnesses. Denver Health Medical Plan recommends that you get a flu shot and follow the tips below to stay healthy.

  • Wash hands often when anyone in the house is sick or hands are dirty. The whole family should wash hands with soap and water for 10 to 15 seconds many times each day. Wash hands before preparing food or eating and after using the bathroom or handling animals.
  • Avoid sharing drinks, food or eating utensils.
  • Keep hands away from the face. Viruses/germs enter the body through the mouth, nose or eyes. The face should not be touched unless the hands have been washed.
  • Keep your distance from people who are sick or aren’t feeling well.
  • Keep tissues handy for runny noses, coughs and sneezes. Cough/sneeze into the upper arm area if no tissues are available. Coughing into hands spreads germs.

Cold/ Flu Symptoms:
Many symptoms can be the same for both colds and the flu. Flu symptoms to watch for include: runny nose, cough, fever, sore throat, headache, body aches, vomiting and diarrhea. Tamiflu for the Flu If you think you might have the flu or just a bad cold, call the Denver Health NurseLine to help you manage your symptoms and feel better. If you have the flu, the NurseLine can screen you for Tamiflu treatment. You can get this prescription filled at any local pharmacy. This drug can shorten the duration of your flu symptoms. But it only works if you take it within 48 hours of the beginning of your symptoms. If you begin Tamiflu treatment and have an allergic type reaction, stop the medication immediately and get medical attention right away.

Flu Treatment

  • Stay home and rest
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) for fever and aches

When to See a Doctor
If you or a family member have these symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Pain or pressure in chest or belly
  • Suddenly dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe vomiting
  • Difficult to wake up
  • Fever with rash
  • Not drinking fluids

*In certain situations Tamiflu can be given after the 48 hour window, for example pregnant woman, those 65 and older, and/or with chronic disease, cancer, diabetes, morbid obesity, or immunosuppression.