Tips on beat­ing the flu

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By DR TONY SMITH

As peo­ple start sneez­ing and crum­pled tis­sues pile up, St John has timely first aid tips if you, or some­one with you, has in­fluenza.

The flu is more than a bad cold. Peo­ple with the flu feel very un­well, have a high fever, mus­cle aches and pains, a very sore throat (par­tic­u­larly in the be­gin­ning of the ill­ness) and a cough. They do not usu­ally have a runny nose or sneez­ing. Young chil­dren can also have di­ar­rhoea and vom­it­ing.

The best form of treat­ment is preven­tion. You can help pre­vent in­fluenza by be­ing im­mu­nised and by re­duc­ing the spread of in­fluenza.

See your GP to dis­cuss im­mu­ni­sa­tion. Im­mu­ni­sa­tion is free for peo­ple who: Are preg­nant. Have asthma. Have chronic lung dis­eases. Have di­a­betes. Have cancer. Have heart disease. Have kid­ney disease. Are over 65 years.

In­fluenza is spread droplets. You can re­duce spread by:

Staying at home and lim­it­ing close con­tact with other peo­ple.

Us­ing dis­pos­able tis­sues not re-us­able hand­ker­chiefs.

Cough­ing into a tis­sue or your el­bow, not your hand.

Wash­ing and dry­ing hands well.

Keep­ing sur­faces touched by the per­son with the flu clean by wip­ing them down with a house­hold dis­in­fec­tant.

In gen­eral, there are no magic treat­ments for the flu:

Spe­cific anti-vi­ral treat­ments (such as Tam­i­flu) re­duce the sever­ity and du­ra­tion of symp­toms if taken early. They are par­tic­u­larly help­ful for peo­ple at high risk such as the el­derly and peo­ple with chronic health con­di­tions.

Parac­eta­mol or ibupro­fen may be taken ac­cord­ing to the in­struc­tions on the packet for headache or mus­cle aches and pains. In gen­eral, the pres­ence of a fever is help­ful for pa­tients with an in­fec­tion and does not re­quire treat­ment with by the

your parac­eta­mol or ibupro­fen un­less it is very high

Do not give as­pirin med­i­ca­tion to chil­dren.

Use salt-wa­ter drops (saline) to treat a stuffy nose in young chil­dren.

An­tibi­otics will not help peo­ple who have the flu and will only be pre­scribed for peo­ple who have bac­te­rial com­pli­ca­tions as a re­sult of the flu, such as pneu­mo­nia or an ear in­fec­tion.

Most peo­ple with the flu will re­cover at home with­out spe­cific treat­ment. Peo­ple should see their GP if they feel very un­well or have chronic health con­di­tions. The flu can be­come life threat­en­ing. Call 111 and ask for an am­bu­lance if the per­son with the flu is ex­tremely un­well. For ex­am­ple if they: Have dif­fi­culty breath­ing or Are very drowsy or dif­fi­cult to wake or Have a seizure Faint or Can­not walk un­aided. For more first aid tips and to en­rol in a first aid course go to

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