Five Fast Flu Facts
From the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- Flu symptoms include fever, headache, chills, body aches, tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, and nasal congestion.
- Flu is spread when a person who has the flu coughs, sneezes, or speaks and sends the flu virus into the air. The virus enters the nose, throat or lungs of a person and multiplies. Flu spreads less frequently when a person touches a surface that has flu viruses on it.
- If you get the flu: rest, drink plenty of liquids, and avoid alcohol and tobacco.
- Antibiotics like penicillin will not cure the flu. The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot. Over-the-counter medications may relieve symptoms of flu. The National Institute for Allergies & Infectious Diseases recommends acetaminophen (Tylenol) for children; aspirin or acetaminophen for adults. Decongestants, cough suppressants, and use of a humidifier can provide symptomatic relief.
- In addition to flu shots, three antiviral medicines are available by prescription that will help prevent flu infection: Tamiflu, Flumadine and Summetrel.
- DO NOT GIVE ASPIRIN to a child or teenager who has the flu. To learn why, click here http://niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/flu.htm
- Most antihistamines cause sleepiness. If a child still has a stuffy nose when she returns to school, parents may want to ask their child’s doctor to prescribe a non-sedating antihistamine.
- Encourage children to cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands frequently, and keep hands away from eyes, nose and mouth.
- A sick child is advised to stay at home during the first days of illness when symptoms are most severe and the infection is most contagious. Children can return to school when symptoms are improving and no fever has been detected for 24 hours.