For people with flu symptoms, Parkview Whitley Hospital is offering the following guidelines to help you determine if a trip to the hospital is necessary.
Symptoms of H1N1 influenza can include fever of more than 100°F, cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches and fatigue. Some people are also experiencing diarrhea and vomiting. Those at highest risk for serious complications from the flu include children under age five, pregnant women, adults 65 and older and people with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or asthma. These people should contact their doctor or visit an urgent care clinic if flu symptoms develop.
If you get sick with flu symptoms and you are in a high-risk group for complications or are concerned about your illness, call your health care provider for advice.
People who are not in the high-risk categories and who have only mild symptoms for which they would not ordinarily seek medical care do not need to do so. They should stay home and call a doctor if they have any questions. People should visit an emergency room immediately if they experience any of the following symptoms:
* Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
* Vomiting for more than four hours.
* Fever in a child who is too quiet and less active than normal.
* Severe neck stiffness.
* Drowsiness, confusion, disorientation, or difficulty being roused.
* No urination for 12 hours.
* Fever in an infant under three months old (100.2°F or greater.)
Everyone is reminded that to help prevent the spread of the flu, there are several things you can do, including:
* Staying home from work, school, and errands when you are sick.
* Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water especially after you cough or sneeze.
Additional information is available at Parkview Health’s website, www.parkview.com; Fight the Flu website, www.fighttheflu.org, and at the Centers for Disease Control website, http://www .cdc.gov/h1n1flu.