Page 7 - Senior Times South Central Michigan November 2020 - 27-11
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Senior Times - November 2020
Page 7
 Complications / Prevention / Treatment
discomfort, severe pain could mean strep throat, which requires treatment by a doctor.
    Complica- tions
Sinusitis, bronchitis, ear infection, pneumonia; can be life-threatening
Wash hands often; avoid close contact with anyone who has flu symptoms; get the annual flu vaccine
Decongestants, pain re- lievers, or fever reducers are available over the counter; over-the-counter cough and cold medicines should not be given to young children; prescrip- tion antiviral drugs for
flu may be given in some cases; call your doctor for more information about treatment.
• Persistent coughing: When a cough doesn't go away after two or three weeks, it could be bronchitis, which may need an antibiotic. Postnasal drip or sinusitis can also result in a persistent cough. In addi- tion, asthma is another cause of persistent coughing.
  Sinus con- gestion; middle ear infection
     Wash hands often; avoid close con- tact with anyone with a cold
• Persistent congestion and headaches: When colds and allergies cause congestion and blockage of sinus passages, they can lead to a sinus infection (sinusitis). If you have pain around the eyes and face with thick nasal discharge after a week, you may have a bacterial infection and possibly need an antibiotic. Most sinus infections, however, do not need an antibiotic.
     Deconges- tants; pain reliever/fe- ver reducer medicines
   Usually, the time of year will give you some sense of what you're dealing with. The standard flu season runs from fall to spring of the next year.
• Severe chest pain
• Severe headache
• Shortness of breath • Dizziness
• Confusion
• Persistent vomiting
The most important prevention measure for preventing colds and flu is frequent hand washing. Hand washing by rubbing the hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds helps to slough germs off the skin.
When do I call the doctor with flu or cold symptoms? If you already have flu or cold symptoms, it's important to call your doctor if you also have any of the following severe symptoms:
In children, additional signs of an emer- gency are:
In addition to hand washing to prevent flu or cold symptoms, you can also get a flu vaccine to prevent seasonal influenza. Seasonal flu activity in the United States generally peaks between late December and early March. Within two weeks of getting a flu vaccine, antibodies develop in the body and provide protection against flu. Children receiving the vaccine for the first time need two doses delivered one month apart.
• Persistent fever: A fever lasting more than three days can be a sign of another bacteri- al infection that should be treated.
• Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing
• Bluish skin color
• Not drinking enough fluids
• Lethargy and failure to interact normally • Extreme irritability or distress
• Painful swallowing: Although a sore throat from a cold or flu can cause mild
• Fever with a rash
In some cases, you may need to get emergency medical attention right away. In adults, signs of a crisis include:
• Symptoms that were improving and then suddenly worsen
Antiviral medicine may also help prevent flu if you have been exposed to someone with flu symptoms.
Can I prevent flu or cold symptoms?
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