Weathering Flu Season

Weathering Flu Season

December 19, 2010 - 8:53 am

Arm yourself with the right stuff to combat that pesky little flu bug this year.

By Noel Alonso, MD, FAAP, After Hours Pediatrics Urgent Care

With the winter season upon us again, influenza, or “the flu”, will be back and ready to infect all in its path. The flu is still a common cause of disease in the population, particularly to the young and old, as well to those with impaired immune systems.

The flu virus is usually acquired through contact with an infected individual and presents with stuffy nose, sore throat, a hacking cough, muscle aches, headaches and high fevers. Its incubation period, from exposure to onset of symptoms, is about 24-48 hours.

For most people, the flu is no more than a bad cold, and symptoms usually improve within 4-7 days. For some, the cough may last up to 2-3 weeks. Treatment is usually geared toward improving the symptoms: for fevers, acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) may be used and saline nose-drops may be given for stuffy nose.

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