Archived Story

Do your best to stay healthy

Published 4:30pm Wednesday, January 9, 2013

If someone at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention told me that this year’s flu season has been worse than others, I would believe them.

That’s because I am a victim of the flu virus.

Yes, it’s been a rough holiday season for me and I’m still trying to get over this illness. I’ve been to the doctor. I’ve tried to rest and not get out in the weather. I’ve taken TamiFlu to the point that it makes me sick and yet I’m still coughing.

I’m getting to the point of being sick and tired of being sick and tired, as I’m sure that many of you have been.

But I’m finally beginning to get better. For the rest of you still suffering through the flu, my prayers are with you.

I used to think that I would never get the flu. I had gone 32 years without getting it, but I was wrong.

This year was the year for me to get it, and I hope it is the last. I actually thought it was allergies when this all started.

So if you’ll never get the flu, think again. It can happen to anyone, even you or me.

If you haven’t had the flu yet this year, I would encourage you to do your best not to get it.

You can get a flu shot, but if you think it’s too late for that, here’s some prevention tips from the CDC:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.

• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

• Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food.

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

• If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

Here are symptom for the flu:

• A 100 degrees or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)

• A cough and/or sore throat

• A runny or stuffy nose

• Headaches and/or body aches

• Chills

• Fatigue

• Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)

If you have any of these symptoms, go see your doctor immediately.

If you have been diagnosed with the flu, you should stay home and follow your health care provider’s recommendations. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about over-the-counter and prescription medications to ease flu symptoms and help you feel better faster.

I hope you don’t get the flu this year, but if you do, here’s hoping you get better much quicker than I have.

Brent Maze is the managing editor of the Hartselle Enquirer.

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