Avoid singing the flu blues

October 3, 2019

Mark L. Friedman, MD, FACEP, FACP

I got a cough…
And a fever of 1-0-2
Wish I would have had a shot
So I wasn’t so bluuuuuuuue.

Initial estimates from the 2018-2019 flu season report between 37.4 million – 42.9 million Americans suffered from the “Flu Blues.” While last year was higher than the average of the last four years, the cases of flu are trending up every year. The flu can last from a few days up to two weeks, when people have fever, chills, body aches, sore throat, headache, and more. That’s a lot of sick days!

Each flu season is different, but there are two constants:

  1. You can prevent yourself and others from getting the flu.
  2. If you do get the flu, treatment within the first 48 hours is critical

How to prevent the flu

  • Get the flu vaccine by Oct. 31. 2019 (for best results).
    • The flu vaccine works.
    • It's safe, too.
    • Hate needles? This year, the CDC says the nasal spray will be just as effective as the traditional shot. 
    • If you're not sure where to get a flu vaccine, check out the HealthMap Vaccine Finder.
    • Remember, the flu vaccine does more than protect you from the flu. It also protects the people around you, especially those at risk of developing complications.

If you think you have the flu, call a doctor.

  • If your flu is diagnosed within 48 hours, it can often be treated with antiviral medications (like Tamiflu®), which can lessen the severity and length of illness.
  • Stay home.
  • If you leave home, bring hand sanitizer. Use it frequently. Offer it to others.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough.
  • Drink fluids, rest, and use over the counter fever-reducers (NOT Aspirin) and pain relievers.

To learn other tips about preventing and treating the flu, check out this CDC resource.

Member of First Stop Health through your employers? Call us at the first sign of illness. You might have a beautiful voice, but we’d like to keep you from singing the Flu Blues.

Originally published Oct 3, 2019 4:55:02 PM.