Got the flu? Here’s what to do: stay home and avoid other people

If you or someone in your household or workplace is ill, there’s a chance it’s the flu.

Even though the departments of public health in King and Pierce counties reported that cases of the flu were not above expected predictions or higher than those reported last year, it is flu season after all; and the Washington State Department of Health reported on Friday that “flu activity is on the rise.”

The most common symptoms of the virus will sound familiar to anyone who’s ever had it: fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, chills, diarrhea and vomiting.

Most of the time, otherwise healthy people who contract the flu can recover at home, the state Department of Health says in a fact sheet on its website.

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The simple prescription is basically to stay home, rest, wash your hands frequently and avoid contact with others. Most people should recover with two weeks, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC.)

“Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. If you must leave home, for example to get medical care, wear a face mask if you have one, or cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Wash your hands often to keep from spreading flu to others,” the state’s Department of Health fact sheet advises.

However, people with flu symptoms who are under five, over 65, pregnant, or in another high risk group should contact their medical provider as early as possible for care and to discuss the possibility of starting an antiviral treatment.

Early contact with a provider is urged because the antivirals work best when started within two days of the onset of symptoms, according to the CDC.

Additionally, the CDC says, children who display the following symptoms should be taken to the doctor:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that…

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