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Feb 10 19, 7:45 am

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by | Feature

Feb. 10, 19 | 7:45 am

During winter, there is an increase in number of people getting sick. Many will have colds, cough, fever, sore throat and body pain. Some of these patients are infected with flu. Here we will discuss what flu is and what we can do to prevent and treat it.

What is Flu?

Flu or Influenza is a common illness during the winter season caused by the influenza virus. It is highly contagious and can spread easily from person to person. People with flu usually experience symptoms such as cough, colds, sore throat, body pain, headache and fever. The symptoms however are similar to other respiratory viral infections (such as the common cold) which are also common during the cold season.

Flu is spread through the air from infected people who cough or sneeze. You can also be infected by direct contact with secretions from an infected person. It may also be passed through objects which the sick person touched. It takes around 2 days for the illness to develop after you get infected with the virus.

What should I do when I develop symptoms of flu?

You should visit a doctor for proper evaluation once you develop symptoms. As mentioned, there are other illnesses which have similar symptoms to flu and it is important for you to be diagnosed properly so that you can be prescribed the correct medicines and be given instructions on what to do at home.

You should take plenty of fluids like water and diluted juices to prevent dehydration. Bed rest is also important to help in recovery.

Should I take antibiotics for flu?

No. Antibiotics have no role in the treatment of flu. An antibiotic is a drug used to treat bacterial infections. Because flu is caused by a virus, antibiotics will not help you get well. It may even do more harm by killing the good bacteria present in your body. Another concern is the development of antimicrobial resistance. Taking antibiotics irresponsibly may cause resistance. When the time comes that you really need the antibiotics, it may not be effective anymore. A visit to the doctor will advise you whether or not you need antibiotics for your illness.

What is the treatment for flu?

Treatment is usually supportive. You may be prescribed with medicines to control fever, cough and colds. For some patients, antiviral medications may be prescribed to decrease the symptoms and the duration of the illness. Antivirals are usually prescribed to people who are at risk to develop complications or those who have severe disease.

How long does flu last?

Uncomplicated flu will last from 3 to 7 days although some symptoms may persist until 2 weeks such as cough and weakness. However, People who are in high risk groups may develop complications and have a more prolonged and severe illness which requires hospitalization.

How can we prevent getting flu?

Vaccination is the most effective way of preventing flu. It is effective in 70-90 % of people who get vaccinated. It is recommended to get vaccinated every year.

Good hygiene is also very important in preventing the spread of flu. Wash hands thoroughly after touching objects which are also touched by other people (examples are railings, doorknobs and money). Hand washing should also be dome before eating and before touching your nose, eyes and mouth. Those who are sick should stay at home until they are fever free for at least 24 hours.

Dr. John Carlo Brojan, MD, FPCP is a General Practitioner and a Specialist for Internal Medicine at Bluebell Medical Centre. You can visit their facilities at Karama in Dubai.

 

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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