Flu Season Survival Guide

Seven's On Call with Dr. Jay Adlersberg
March 11, 2008 4:56:34 PM PDT
We are truly in the midst of flu season. And tonight, a look at the items you should have on hand when fighting the flu. Seven's on Call with Dr. Jay Adlersberg.

Flu is causing bad illness at the present moment. You won't get the flu if you do what? That's right, get a flu shot. Well, there are some people who haven't done it for a variety of reasons.

For them, Dr. Jay has some survival tips if you come down with the flu.

Does this look like spring to you? No, not yet. So remember, we're still in flu season.

"Many people don't realize that flu season goes into May, and we still have flu around this time of year," said Dr. Adam Aponte at North General Hospital.

Omayra Perez-Wong watched her 3-year old battle off a stomach virus recently. It wasn't flu, for a good reason. Isabella had a flu shot.

"It was recommended by pediatrician," said mother, Omayra Perez-Wong. "I did my own research and the CDC recommends that kids from 6-month-old to 5-year-old get inoculated."

Flu symptoms? Fever, severe muscle aches, and a cough that starts in South America. It's not like a bad cold. You'll be in bed for a week.

Ok, you haven't had a flu shot and you get the flu. What the next step? Be prepared.

Get a digital thermometer. They're inexpensive now, and you'll want to tell your doctor if you have a temperature. Stock up on fluids, even just water because you want to stay hydrated, and fever dehydrates you. Juices are fine, even Gatorade, especially for stomach flu.

For kids, try Pedialyte which will gently replace salts lost to diarrhea and vomiting. You can fill ice trays with it and make popsicles which kids will like. Avoid soda, says Dr. Aponte, these can make kids feel worse, and avoid dairy which can be hard to digest.

Reduce fever with Tylenol. Don't use aspirin, which may cause serious illness in kids.

The best advice - prevent the flu with a vaccination.

"The benefits of the shot outweigh her not having it I have been giving it to her since age 6- month-old and I don't think ill stop.

Flu hits hardest in babies and the elderly, especially those with chronic illness like asthma and heart failure. They have the most complications, too. Rest in bed with this disease and it may take two weeks before you're able to get back to activities.

For other flu survival tips:

  • If you'd like more information on the clinic, you can call 311 or visit the New York City web site at: www.NYC.gov.
  • For more information on the flu report, Click Here.
  • Feds recommend overhaul of flu vaccine
  • Cold weather tips
  • Never too late to get flu shot