Prepare yourself as flu season gets under way

Published 11:00 pm Friday, December 7, 2012

As the flu season gets underway, folks throughout Pike County and much of Alabama are battling the symptoms: fever, aches, coughing, and more.

And, according to the Centers for Disease Control, this saeson likely will bring widespread flu cases, such as we’re already seeing in Alabama. While experts continue to urge residents to seek a flu vaccination, if possible, they also once again remind us to take common sense precautions during this season: Wash your hands, frequently; cover your mouth or nose if you cough or sneeze; avoid contact with others if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of the flu; and, most important, take quick action if you do begin to experience flu symptoms.

While some prescription antiviral treatments are available, most folks will find themselves trying to treat the flu or flu-like symptoms with over-the-counter remedies. If you find yourself battling the bug, you can treat your symptoms by:

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• Getting plenty of rest

• Drinking clear fluids like water, broth, sports drinks, or electrolyte beverages to prevent becoming dehydrated

• Placing a cool, damp washcloth on your forehead, arms, and legs to reduce discomfort associated with a fever

• Putting a humidifier in your room to make breathing easier

• Gargling salt water (1:1 ratio warm water to salt) to soothe a sore throat

• Covering up with a warm blanket to calm chills

Fever reducers, over-the-counter pain medications and cough remedies are all useful.

And you should always seek medical treatment if you have a high or persistent fever.

While we can’t always avoid exposure to the flu, we can use some common-sense methods to minimize our risk and protect our health.

Because nobody wants to spend the holidays battling the flu.