image by: jdeeringdavis
It's either the flu or love... The symptoms are the same - Charles M. Schulz
When Nicole Kidman arrived at the SAG awards she followed red carpet protocol to a T. She smiled for the cameras, she shook hands, she gave interviews, and she hugged familiar faces. And when she won the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie she acted surprised, then made her way to the stage. Once there, she hugged the presenter and gave the obligatory acceptance speech. She gushed, she thanked her co-stars, she thanked her producers, she thanked her husband, and she thanked the other over 40 working actresses in Hollywood. The audience went crazy with applause. Her husband beamed with pride. It was nice. Exactly what you’d expect.
But then she slipped up. She mentioned that she had been up until 1:00 a.m. working and that she was very sick. More specifically, she mentioned that she had the flu. Immediately the applause started to wane, and you know everyone there was thinking the same thing. “Oh, my God. Did I hug her? Did I touch her? Did she sneeze or cough around me? Is she still contagious?”
“Is she contagious” is a valid concern. Especially since Kidman had only come down with the flu a couple of days before the awards ceremony; and her acceptance speech was peppered with sniffles; and her eyes were red and a little weepy indicating that she might have a fever… I’m no doctor, but I’d say that she was probably contagious Highly contagious.
It’s never convenient to have the flu and sometimes it’s really hard to heed the advice “fever and cough, take the week off!” especially when work and family obligations are piling up. So, instead of doing the right thing: staying home, avoiding contact with others, sleeping, etc… we push through and go to work, or award shows, or grocery stores, and we expose others to our nasty germs.
And, yes, the flu strain going around this year is particularly nasty. It came on strong in early November and isn’t expected to reach its peak until mid-February. Which means we haven’t seen the worst of it. Because of this, public health officials, doctors, and hospitals are urging people to stay home if they are sick. (Nicole)
Their message is pretty simple: Your job is not that important, and you will not win employee of the year because you “pushed through” and coughed, sniffled, or sneezed your way through a meeting. The only thing you will gain by doing so is a lot of dirty looks. So stay home! (Nicole)
I know realistically that won’t happen. People are people. Therefore, I thought I’d compile a list of what you should know about Super Flu 2018.
Flu symptoms generally come on very quickly and include fever or chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headaches, muscle and body aches, fatigue, and vomiting-especially in children.
Although many of these symptoms are typical for both the flu and the common cold, a cold will rarely give you a fever, chills, or muscle and body aches. Therefore, understanding early flu symptoms may help prevent the spread of the virus and may minimize the severity of your symptoms.
Prevention is Key
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. (Nicole)
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. It's disturbing to think about, but flu germs spread up to 6 feet through a cough or sneeze. Oh, and throw the tissue in the trash, immediately.
- Wash your hands with soap and hot water. A lot.
- Wash anything you touch: doorknobs, phones, computers... because flu germs can live on these surfaces for about eight hours.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread quickly this way.
- Practice good health habits. If you have the flu, the CDC recommends that you stay home for a minimum of 24 hours after your fever is gone. And that means gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
What If I Catch the Flu
The best way to fight the flu is to get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, and take over-the-counter medications to help alleviate your symptoms.
If you have a cough, using steam can help relieve the severity and help loosen the congestion. You can do this by adding a teaspoon of mentholated rub to boiling water and breathing in the steam for several minutes.
Because your body will naturally fight off the virus on its own, it's generally not necessary to seek medical attention unless you are experiencing the following.You cannot drink enough fluids and are dehydrated or your symptoms are not going away or they are worsening - This may indicate a secondary infection or complications such as pneumonia, which can be life threatening if untreated.
Should I go to the doctor?
In most cases, it’s not necessary to seek medical attention and you’ll recover on your own in five to seven days so long as you get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. However, if you’re a high-risk individual, which includes children under 5; adults over 65; pregnant women; those with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart and lung disease; and those living in nursing homes you should call your doctor as soon as your symptoms begin. Your doctor will tell you whether you should go to the hospital, or if you should stay home.
In some cases, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral, which can be done over the phone. However, antivirals are most effective when they are started within 2 days of getting sick. So, call your doctor at the first sign of the flu.
Sometimes getting the flu is unavoidable. So if you do get it, remember, that it’s okay to stay home. If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for the rest of us. Who don’t want to get sick.
Stacy Matson is a health enthusiast from Southern California and regularly blogs on Celebrity Health for A Healthier World, as well as contributing to the Best of Best.
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