The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that we are early stages of what is predicted to be a significant 2014 flu season. Elders are especially vulnerable to the flu, which also puts those who care for them at greater risk of influenza. While it is less likely that you will get the flu if you’ve gotten the vaccine this year, it still is possible to get sick, although with a briefer and milder case of the flu.
The CDC has created a comprehensive website http://www.flu.gov/ which includes extensive information on flu symptoms and treatment. Here are some tips and reminders for caregivers culled form that site:
How Do I Know I Have the Flu?
5 Signs You Have the Flu
While each strain of influenza is different, and not everyone gets all the symptoms of the flu, here are five symptoms to look for
1. A 100◦F or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
2. A cough and/or sore throat
3. A runny or stuffy nose
4. Headaches and/or body aches
Do I Have the Flu or a Cold?
Although the flu and common cold have similar symptoms, the flu tends to be more severe.
Symptoms such as fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough are more common and intense with the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose.
Your doctor can give you a test at the beginning of your illness to tell if you do have the flu.
When Should I Seek Emergency Medical Attention?
Influenza can be dangerous, and even fatal. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following:
• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
• Purple or blue discoloration of the lip
• Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
• Sudden dizziness,
• Severe or persistent vomiting
• Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough