Flu season has arrived and the sad fact is that no matter how hard you try, sometimes you just can't avoid getting the flu. Dr. Adam Naddelman, MD, FAAP, President, Princeton Nassau Pediatrics, P.A. has a few tips on how to elude the flu, spot the virus in it's early stages, and what to do when you think that you've been bitten by the bug.
- Flu vaccination
- Hand washing
- Hand sanitizer
- Avoid sick people
- Fever, usually 102º - 104º
- Body aches that can be severe
Once symptoms begin
People who are high risk (chronic illness like diabetes and asthma, elderly or kids under 2) should seek medical care quickly. If the flu is diagnosed within the first 48 hours, antiviral drugs can be prescribed in hopes of shortening and/or lessening the effects of the flu. A full list of who is considered to be high risk can be found at Flu.gov.
For those considered low risk, Dr. Naddelman believes the best treatment is supportive care, including plenty of fluids, antipyretics to reduce fever and body aches, and lots of rest.
Dr. Naddelman stresses the importance of being on the look out for secondary infections with the flu, particularly pneumonia. Signs of influenza leading to a secondary bacterial infection like pneumonia include a high spiking fever several days into the illness, increasing cough and lethargy, and decreased appetite and oral intake. These signs require immediate medical attention.
Once you've kicked the flu waiting twenty-four hours to reintroduce yourself to the public after your symptoms and fever have resolved is considered best practice.
Dr. Naddelman practices pediatrics, but his advice is transferrable to patients of all ages.
I've gathered some links from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) that you may find helpful if your child with type 1 diabetes falls prey to the flu.
Ketone/Sick Day Rules - Insulin Pump - pdf
Ketone/Sick Day Rules - NPH - pdf
Sick Day Log Sheet - pdf
This is a very good time for me to remind you that I am not a doctor and that nothing I write on Arden's Day or anywhere else should be taken as medical advice. My disclaimer says it all but you should really contact your own physician whenever you have questions about your or a loved ones health. Especially when the flu is involved.