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Flu Information as of Sept 29, 2009

Swine Flu
The flu season has ended but swine flu is still around.  If you experience high fever (>102 F), cough, headache or  body aches you may have the flu.  The current recommendations are to stay at home for at least 7 days or until you have been 24 hours without a fever whichever comes first.  Call your doctor's office to see if you qualify for treatment for the flu and if your family members qualify for preventive treatment.  There are specific guidelines put out by the CDC and the New York State Dept of Health that your physician is following.

As always, good handwashing and covering your cough are the best ways to prevent transmission of the swine flu virus.  More information can be found at the Centers for Disease Control

General Flu Information
Information regarding the seasonal flu and H1N1 (swine) flu is obtained from the New York State Department of Health.  Currently seasonal flu activity is low in New York State.  We are at the very beginning of the season and it is time to receive your vaccination.  Lamb Family Medicine has plenty of seasonal flu vaccine.

Symptoms of the flu include fever > 102, sore throat, body aches, headache and dry cough.  Lesser symptoms include nasal congestion and vomiting and diarrhea.

Most people can stay at home and treat their symptoms and recover without any problem.  The length of the illness is generally 5 to 7 days.  If you have any of these symptoms, we would ask that you call the office before coming in for an appointment as we want to expose as few people as possible.

Recent Information on H1N1 Flu

The most recent information to come from the New York State Deparment of Health on the H1N1 flu describes most cases as no more severe than the seasonal flu.  Treatment is recommended only for those patients who are likely to experience complications or whose symptoms are so severe that they require hospitalization.

Vaccine is supposed to become available in Mid-October.  Lamb Family Medicine does not know how many doses it will be given.  The vaccine is to be given to pregnant women and children first.  People over 65 years old have not been getting H1N1 so they are lower on the list to be vaccinated.  It is recommended that they get a seasonal flu vaccine.  It has been mandated that healthcare workers also receive the H1N1 vaccine.

Flu Prevention
You can take simple steps to prevent the flu.  Remember that you can be contagious 24 hours before you have symptoms of the flu and the incubation period is 7 to 10 days.

  • Cough into your elbow
  • Use alcohol hand sanitizer regularly
  • If you have a fever stay home from work or school until you have been without that fever for 24 hours
  • At work, clean your work surfaces daily with a disinfectant
  • Keep your immune system healthy by sleeping regularly, eating well and exercising

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