Flu: It’s important to be prepared

The community should prepare itself for the flu. According to Becky Peery, RN, BSN, infection control nurse at GPCH, the flu is here along with gastroenteritis (vomiting and diarrhea). If you are over the age of six months it isn’t too late to get a flu shot.Peery advises the community to take extra precautions since theses nasty viruses are around. “Hand hygiene is the best means to control both,” she said.If you are unlucky and catch an unwanted virus, Peery says it is important to stay home until your fever is gone for one day. Avoid touching your nose, mouth, or eyes with your hands. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing or cough/sneeze into your elbow. Notify your physician if symptoms do not get better or get worse.If you think you have the flu, make sure you notify your physician early in the course of symptoms to see if antivirals are recommended.If you believe you have gastroenteritis, she recommends for you to sip on clear fluids (not water), popsicles, and Jell-O for the first 24 hours. If no vomiting, you may progress slowly to bananas, rice, apples, or dry toast.If you begin to get symptoms of continual vomiting and diarrhea, blood in the stool or vomit, fever greater than 101, and weakness, lightheadedness, or decreased urination, notify your physician as soon as possible.She also says to watch children closely for no tears, saliva, and decrease in urinary output, not acting normal. See the Physician in such cases. However, go immediately to the Emergency Department for listlessness or floppiness.