Saturday, January 29, 2011

Influenza Update 1/27/11

Empirically, I agree with the data displayed on FluTrends.  I have noted an increase in patients being seen with classic flu-like symptoms.  Remember:
1.  Prevention is the name of the game.  Get a flu shot.  It's still not too late.  Be careful what you touch and what you breathe.  Sorry, to be anti-social in church, but move to another pew.  All children are a breeding ground for contagious infections.  Teach them good hygiene habits.
2. Historically, the incidence of flu will go up for another 3-4 weeks, before starting to decline.  Don't let your guard down just because you've been healthy this winter.  The war isn't over yet.  You might be surprised about the attitudes of many of my patients.  Despite me carrying on about the-sky-is-falling-from-influenza, many patients and parents do not cover up for the cooler weather, nor take their preventative meds (since they're not suffering now), nor take simple precautions like routine saline nasal rinses.
3. If you strongly suspect you or a loved one has influenza, contact or see your physician ASAP, because the window for use of Tamiflu is only 48 hours from the onset of symptoms.

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