Flu is on the rise across the US and here in Maryland. Did you know that between 3,000 to 49,000 people die every year from the flu? Get some fast facts today!
Here are some more fast facts:
- 200,000 people are hospitalized every year due to flu
- 5-20% of the population gets the flu each year, on average
- People are contagious from the day BEFORE symptoms start
- People are contagious for 5-10 days AFTER the illness starts (days after they feel better and return to work or school.)
- The main flu virus this year IS covered by the flu vaccine
The chart to the right shows that flu is on the rise and is already more prevalent than at anytime in 2015-2016.
What are the symptoms of flu to look for?
Symptoms usually start very suddenly and often include:
- Fever of 100.4°F to 104°F, which can reach 106°F (41°C)
- Body aches and pain
- Pain when you move your eyes.
- Fatigue, a general feeling of sickness
- Loss of appetite.
- A dry cough, runny nose, and dry or sore throat.
Influenza usually does not cause symptoms in the stomach or intestines, such as vomiting and diarrhea. On the contrary, the “stomach flu” is usually associated with Norovirus or other similar virus. See this previous article.
How long is it contagious?
People with flu are contagious beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 10 days after becoming sick. Most people have returned to work once their fever is gone, around days 3 or 4, but remain contagious for up to a week more!
How is flu spread?
Most cough, cold and flu viruses are thought to be passed from person to person by contact with respiratory droplets.
Contact can occur by direct bodily contact (such as kissing) or touching something with virus on it (such as shaking hands with someone who has the flu) and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. Best way to prevent the flu–or any contagious illness–is frequent hand washing!
Call your doctor or go to an urgent care if:
- You have an extremely high fever (104 F or higher)
- You are finding it more difficult to get a good breath
- New symptoms localized to the ear, throat, chest or sinuses
- Symptoms don’t go away or become more severe
Be sure to be seen within 48 hours of the onset of your fever. This is important as treatment is only effective if started within 48 hours!
Call 911 if:
- Trouble breathing
- Severe headache or stiff neck associated with confusion or excessive drowsiness
If you or someone in your family has sudden onset of high fever, whole body aches, chills and feels
generally awful, see your provider right away. A rapid Flu Test is available to get an answer in 10 minutes. Remember that Tamiflu, the only treatment, must be started within 2 days of symptom onset.
If you have been experiencing fever, headache, dry cough or any of the above symptoms, please see your doctor immediately–remember that flu must be treated in the first 48 hours! Evolve Medical is always happy to see you as well. Same day scheduling on-line here or call 844-322-4222. Or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.