As we move into flu season, states across America are experiencing increasing
cases. While California isn’t being hit as hard by the flu as some
other states, it is important that Pasadena residents and our neighbors
throughout the San Gabriel Valley and surrounding communities take steps
now to guard against the flu.
As our community’s leading hospital for over 120 years, Huntington
Hospital is pleased to offer this free information about how to guard
against the Flu and how to identify whether or not you’ve got the Flu.
The Flu: How do I protect my family and me?
- Speak to your doctor or local urgent care center about getting a Flu vaccine
immediately. Many hospitals like Huntington Hospital offer Free Flu Shot
Clinics – check with your local healthcare provider to see if they
offer them too. The Flu vaccine can help protect you from the flu or at
least lessen symptoms if you get sick.
- Always wash your hands
- Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
- Dispose of used tissues promptly
- Clean hard surfaces frequently
- Make sure children follow these guidelines
The Flu: What To Do If You Get Sick
(Information thanks to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC))
How do I know if I have the flu?
You may have the flu if you have some or all of these symptoms:
- Sore Throat
- Runny or Stuffy Nose
- Body Aches
- Sometimes Diarrhea and Vomiting
*It's important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
What should I do if I get sick?
Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care
or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases,
you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get
If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are very sick or worried about
your illness, contact your health care provider (primary care physician
or visit the nearest Urgent Care Center. Visit your local Emergency Department
only if you are experiencing severe flu symptoms).
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) and this is true both for seasonal
flu and novel flu virus infections.
Health care providers will determine whether influenza testing and possible
treatment are needed. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs that can
treat the flu. These drugs work better for treatment the sooner they are started.
*If you are feeling sick or believe you’ve been exposed to the Flu,
please do not visit any family or friends in your local hospital until
you are well.
What are the emergency warning signs?
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing
- Bluish skin color
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Not waking up or not interacting
- Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
- Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
- Fever with a rash
In addition to the signs above, get medical help right away for any infant
who has any of these signs:
- Being unable to eat
- Has trouble breathing
- Has no tears when crying
- Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Do I need to go the Emergency Department if I am only a little sick?
Emergency Department should be used for people who are very sick. You should not go to the
Emergency Department if you are only mildly ill. If you have the emergency
warning signs of flu sickness, you should go to the Emergency Department.
If you get sick with flu symptoms and are at high risk of flu complications
or you are concerned about your illness, call your health care provider
for advice. If you go to the Emergency Department and you are not sick
with the flu, you may catch it from people who do have it
Are there medicines to treat the flu?
Yes. There are drugs your doctor may prescribe for treating the flu called
“antivirals.” These drugs can make you better faster and may
also prevent serious complications. It’s important to know that
some of these drugs must be administered within the first 48 hours of
onset flu symptoms in order for them to be effective.
How long should I stay home if I’m sick?
CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever
is gone except to get medical care or for other things you have to do
and no one else can do for you. (Your fever should be gone without the
use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol®.) You should stay
home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings.
What should I do while I’m sick?
Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from making them sick.
If you must leave home, for example to get medical care, wear a facemask
if you have one, or cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. And wash your
hands often to keep from spreading flu to others. Also use antibacterial