Flu Can Kill!

Most people view influenza as a routine, if unpleasant, possibility each winter.
But the case of a 21-year-old man in Pennsylvania is a poignant reminder that sometimes, the worst-case scenario is more serious than sick days and bed rest.

Kyle Baughman, an aspiring personal trainer living in Latrobe, came home for Christmas not feeling well.
His symptoms persisted when returning to work after the the holidays.

Just a few days later, however, Kyle died at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian hospital from flu-related organ failure, according to his family.

Why does the flu turn deadly?

Influenza can be a very serious illness.
Even though the vast majority of the public that comes down with actual influenza will get through it with Tylenol, fluids, Motrin, whatever, there are people who do get very sick.

Deadly cases are mostly limited to the very young, the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions, such as respiratory illnesses, but a very small percentage of otherwise healthy people do develop serious complications.
For some people with pneumonia, it will spread to their bloodstream and cause an overwhelming, multi-system infection.
While these cases are extremely infrequent, they can sometimes end in death,.

What should you do if you have the flu?

Don’t try to ride it out yourself. Visit your primary care doctor or an urgent care clinic within 48 hours of developing telltale flu symptoms, including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat and body aches.
A doctor can treat you with Tamiflu, an antiviral medication that can mitigate some symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness.

But if you’re seeking treatment, don’t go to the emergency room, where you’ll run the risk of infecting others and exposing yourself to sicknesses potentially more severe than yours.

How can you tell if the flu is serious?

In most cases, flu symptoms will subside within three to seven days and are mild enough to be treated with over-the-counter painkillers, fluids and rest.
If you experience prolonged symptoms, or shortness of breath on par with what you’d feel during strenuous exercise, you should see your doctor to rule out complications.

Is it too late to get a flu shot?

Not at all. Its better now than never.
If you develop a bit of an immunity now, and you’re exposed to it later on, it will protect you.

And while the flu shot isn’t 100% effective, vaccinated people who still get sick will likely have less severe cases than those who never get vaccinated at all.

Easy Ways to Prevent Cold and Flu This Season

This is the season when you can catch a cold and flu easily. The weather is turning cooler and all you need to do is take some safety precautions in order to prevent cold and flu.

When you are down with the flu, make sure that your body receives lots of fluids. Also, take extra care of yourself, making sure that you eat healthily and drink clean water.

While it is impossible to completely prevent yourself from getting infected with cold and flu, here are a few pointers which would help you out:

  • Sleep

If you feel weak or feel that you have a weak throat, then just go to sleep. While you are asleep, your body’s defence mechanism will kick in to fight the foreign bacteria and germs. Also, when you are tired, your body won’t work 100% efficiently. So, you are bound to fall ill. Hence, make sure that you get 8-10 hours of sleep if you are feeling under the weather.

  • Eat healthily

Eating healthy is the best way to boost your immune system. When you eat a balanced diet, your body gets all the necessary nutrients and proteins.  It not only gives your body that extra energy but also helps the immune system by making it stronger. So make sure that you eat fresh fruits and vegetables regularly to keep cold and flu at bay.

  • Exercise

Exercising is a great way to boost your immune system. Also, it helps the body sweat. Sweating causes your body to get rid of germs and bacteria and also replenishes the cells inside your body.

  • Keep your hands clean

Washing your hands very often is a single important measure if you want to stop the transmission of colds. Did you just shake your hands with your colleagues? Or, did you just touch your nose? Simply, wash your hands, and wash them quite often.

No matter if you went on shopping, returned from a gym or spent time in public places. Every time you come back to your home – make it a point to wash your hands.

This is because when you wash your hands, you are basically destroying the harmful bacteria and germs which you might have acquired by touching stuff here and there.

Also, if you can’t wash your hands, then keep a hand sanitizer ready. This alcohol solution makes sure that your hands are clean and germ-free. So you don’t have to go to the washroom every time to wash your hands.

  • Clean surroundings

It is extremely necessary for you to keep your surroundings clean. Cleaner atmosphere means that there are fewer germs and bacteria around.

Keyboards, light switches, doorknobs, countertops, remote controls and the likes can serve as a breeding ground for viruses. Thus, make sure that these commonly used surfaces are cleaned frequently.

  • Drink fluids

Stay hydrated at all times. Drink a huge amount of water to flush out any harmful toxins and microbes from your body.

Further, drinking enough amount of water would also keep your mucus well-hydrated and would keep your nasal passages clean.

It is highly recommended to drink hot water every few hours, or alternatively, add honey and lemon juice in a glass of water to strengthen your immune system.

Adopt the above-mentioned measures and stay healthy!