Your Healthy Family: With flu on the rise, how to prevent it’s spread

9:33 AM, Jan 09, 2019

COLORADO SPRINGS – According to the latest reports from the CDC, flu activity is now widespread in 24 states across the U.S.  When it comes to prevention, nothing beats a flu vaccine.

Last week we reported that flu season is picking up across the country, and Colorado was among the states experiencing high flu activity.  Year after year, though the virus may change a bit, the flu is spread the same way.

Dr. Mark Wesselman, an internal medicine doctor with UCHealth Chapel Hills Primary Care in Colorado Springs, says, “It’s spread by droplets from a  sneeze or cough, so washing your hands is always a good idea for anything but especially if you develop (flu) symptoms, cover your cough and sneeze.”

Keep a very close eye on the elderly and the young and people of any age who have pre-existing conditions, says Dr. Purva Grover with Cleveland Clinic Children’s.  “Younger kids, especially the little ones, and, or, high-risk patients who have another diagnosis like leukemia or are otherwise immunocompromised, they can get very sick.”

And if you do come down with the flu, get to the doctor quickly.

Dr. Wesselman says, “There are medicines available, antiviral medications you can get from your doctor if you call (and come in) early.  You can get them started and it will help lessen your symptoms of the flu.”

It can take five to seven days before you start  feeling better, and it’s extremely important to be patient and not rush back out into the world, says Dr. Wesselman.  “The key to preventing the spread of the flu is people that are sick need to stay home during the flu season.”

While they may be missing school, it’s also important that kids be kept home until they are fever-free, without Motrin or Tylenol for at least 24 hours.

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