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The symptoms of seasonal flu include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. Seasonal flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.
In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing ?- Bluish skin color ?- Not drinking enough fluids ?- Not waking up or not interacting
- Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
- Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
- Fever In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe or persistent vomiting
Health officials advise individuals who develop influenza-like-illness (ILI) (fever with either cough or sore throat) to stay at home, to get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids. Persons who experience symptoms and wish to seek medical care should contact their health care providers to report illness (by telephone or other remote means) before seeking care at a clinic, physician’s office, or hospital. Those with severe symptoms (see above) who have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath or are believed to be severely ill should seek immediate medical attention.
There are things that people can do to help them stay healthy. The Health District recommends the following preventative measures: - Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. If you don't have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. - Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
The following prevention measures will help to lessen the impact on individuals, families and businesses in the event of an influenza pandemic:
- Prepare for a possible school closure and plan for daycare if necessary.
- Prepare for a possible extended stay in your home
- Store a supply of water and food.
- Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
- Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.
- Businesses should consider how they will operate if several of their employee are out sick or out caring for sick family members.
- If severe symptoms occur (as outlined above), individuals should contact a healthcare provider. You may be asked by your health care provider to wear a mask if you are experiencing influenza-like illness (ILI) and need to visit the healthcare facility.