NOW:53208:USA01012
http://widgets.journalinteractive.com/cache/JIResponseCacher.ashx?duration=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.wp.myweather.net%2FeWxII%2F%3Fdata%3D*USA01012
19°
H 19° L 18°
Cloudy | 3MPH

What you need to know about the flu

Jan. 18, 2013

Unless you’ve just returned from a mission to Mars, you’ve probably heard that this year’s flu season is off to a roaring start.

So what do you need to know about the flu and, most importantly, how to keep from getting it?

The first and best step is to get a flu vaccination right away if you haven’t already. Getting your flu vaccine will not only help keep you from getting the flu most of the time, but immunizing yourself also protects your family, friends and co-workers. Your health insurance generally should pay for the cost of your shot, but check first with your provider or pharmacy to make sure they accept your coverage.

Beyond getting a shot, make sure that you wash your hands – or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer – often. Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose or mouth as much as possible to stop germs from entering your body. Wash shared surfaces like phones and keyboards frequently. It may sound obvious, but try to avoid contact with sick people – and if you’re sick, stay home at least 24 hours after your fever is gone to prevent others from catching your illness.

The good news is that most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. Make sure you get plenty of liquids to stay hydrated – herbal tea with honey can help take the edge off a sore throat, and the generations-old remedy of a little chicken soup can’t hurt. Get plenty of rest and use a humidifier and warm compress to ease nasal congestion and sinus pain. Lozenges can also help subdue a sore throat and cough.

Certain people are at greater risk of serious flu-related complications, including young children, elderly persons, pregnant women and people with certain long-term medical conditions. If you are in a high risk group and develop flu symptoms, it’s best to contact your doctor.

If you’re not in a high-risk category but are very sick or worried about your illness, your insurer might offer a 24/7 nurse line that can allow you seek advice from home. Do not go to the emergency room if you are only mildly ill – you likely will have a long wait and, if it turns out you don’t have the flu yet, you risk catching it from people who have it. Instead, visit a local retail health clinic, urgent care center or make an appointment with your doctor. Keep washing those hands and stay healthy!

You can find more flu information and tips from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at www.flu.gov.

---

Dr. Michael Jaeger is the managing medical director for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin.

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.


Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Woman drives drunk to pick up drunken driver from police station 12/10

» Suspects of five related burglaries in Wauwatosa arrested, charged 12/9

» Woman threatens to stab Sak's employee after retail theft 12/9

» Wauwatosa aderman runs for Milwaukee County supervisor 12/8

» Anonymous email threatens Wauwatosa East High School 12/5

» 600 bowlers, volleyball players to compete at the Special Olympics Wisconsin on Saturday 12/4

» Kindergarten registration sessions announced 12/3

» Oconomowoc man, Eisenhower teacher, dies unexpectedly 11/29

» HomeGoods coming to Mayfair Collection 11/24

» Wauwatosa superintendent attends President Barack Obama's 'ConnectED to the Future' event 11/18

» Children's Hospital of Wisconsin moves babies to newly designed NICU 11/18

» City Market closes North Avenue location 11/17

» Early momentum doesn't stay with Tosa East 11/14

» Wauwatosa woman investigated for stealing credit card information from Froedtert Hospital patients 11/13

» Man pointed handgun at front door of Applebee's 11/10

» UW Credit Union branch could break ground in Wauwatosa this month 11/10

» Suburban roundup: Week three of the WIAA football postseason 11/10

» Indulgence Chocolatiers to open in Wauwatosa, and sell Purple Door Ice Cream 11/10

» Former Central States Mortgage CEO to plead guilty to obstruction of justice Updated:  11/6

» Tosa East stuns Brookfield East in volleyball sectional 11/6

» Election roundup: How the Milwaukee suburbs and Lake Country voted Updated:  11/5

» Walker wins Wauwatosa by slimmer margin than the state 11/5

» Walker's neighbors divided over election 11/4

» Authorities identify Wauwatosa man killed by train Updated:  11/4

» Wauwatosa apartments sell for $2.5 million 11/4

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Advertisement

Deal Watch - Milwaukee

Milwaukee's Best Discounts & Deals

Advertisement

Hidden Tosa

 

"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where reporter Rory Linnane explores the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.

Local Business Directory

CONNECT