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Flu Preparedness Update: What to Do if You Get Sick

Suggestions from Montefiore on How to Cope During this Flu Season 

New York City, NY (November 9, 2009) - It is important that everyone has the latest information on influenza (flu) to help protect yourself and your family, according to Gary Kalkut, MD, MPH, Senior Vice-President, Chief Medical Officer of Montefiore Medical Center. Dr. Kalkut and his colleagues at Montefiore offer the following information and advice on preventing illness during this flu season.

Flu symptoms may include a combination of high fever, sore throat, cough, fatigue, stomach upset, headaches and muscle aches.

Flu can be a more serious illness for some people, including those who are 65 years or older, for persons with chronic medical conditions or a weakened immune system and pregnant women. For people in these categories with flu symptoms, it is important to contact your health care provider.

Do not go to the Emergency Department if you have mild symptoms. Most people

will recover from flu without needing any type of tests or specific treatment.

Some warning signs in adults that require immediate medical attention include:

  • Difficulty with breathing or shortness of breath.
  • Fever for more than five days.
  • Pain or pressure in the chest.
  • Fainting.
  • Confusion.
  • Severe vomiting.
  • If flu-like symptoms improve and then return with fever and worse cough.

If you are ill with flu symptoms:

  • Do not go to work or school. Stay home so you can rest and prevent spreading the illness to others.
  • Avoid contact with other people as much as possible to limit the spread of flu.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, get bed rest and continue to eat healthy foods.
  • Be sure to cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze and wash your hands frequently.
  • Seek medical attention if your flu symptoms are serious.
  • Return to work 24 hours after your fever ends.

For more information, visit Montefiore.org or the CDC website on what to do if you get sick: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/sick.htm

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