Monday, November 16, 2009

When to seek medical care.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) just published a pamphlet on what to look for, what to do when you think that you or someone you love might have Seasonal or H1N1 Flu.

Here are the symptoms that require IMMEDIATE medical attention:

For children:

*Fast breathing or troubled breathing.
*Bluish or gray skin color (CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY!!!)
*Not drinking enough fluids.
*Severe or persistent vomiting
*Not waking up or not interacting with others.
*Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held.
*Flu-like symptoms inprove but then return with fever and worse cough.

For adults:

*Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
*Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen.
*Sudden dizziness.
*Severe or persistent vomiting.
*Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough.

General Advice if you think that you have the flu:

**If you are sick with the flu, you may be ill for a week or even longer. PLEASE STAY HOME UNLESS YOU NEED URGENT MEDICAL CARE OR OTHER NECESSITIES, so you can get well and prevent others from getting ill.

**Drink plenty of fluids and rest as much as possible.

**Avoid travel.

**Do NOT go to work or school until at least 24 hours AFTER your fever is completely gone. Your fever should be gone WITHOUT the use of acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin).

**If you leave your house to see medical care, WEAR A FACEMASK!!! Clinics and hospitals around here provide them for people with flu symptoms at entrances into the buildings.

**Wash your hands frequently with WARM not cold water or use a hand sanitizer.

**Cover your coughs and sneezes with a virus-proof tissue or the sleeve of your elbow.

Who is at increased risk for flu complications?

***Children younger than 5-years-old--particularly children younger than two-years-old, for whom the risk of severe flu complications from seasonal flu is highest.

***Adults 65-years-old or older.

***Pregnant women.

***People with chronic diseases of the lung (including asthma), heart (except hypertension), kidney, liver, blood (including sickle cell disease), brain or nervous system, muscles (particularly those that cause difficulty with swallowing), or metabolism (including diabetes mellitus);

***People with weakened immune systems, due to medications or HIV;

***Persons younger that 19-years-of-age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy because of an increased risk for Reye syndrome.

What if I think that I have the flu? Can I get tested and treatment for H1N1 influenza or seasonal flu?

Testing and treatment is NOT needed or recommended for most children and adults who get the flu. Antiviral medication is NOT currently recommended EXCEPT for people with the flu who are at higher risk for complications or have severe illness.


*1-877-427-7317 (toll-free)
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time
Monday -Friday.



Since we should all be striving to care for each other, it may not be a bad idea to pass this information on to your loved ones who may be able to benefit from this.

In health.


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