Flu is raging. What would you do, doc?

UC expert says people who get the flu should isolate

Hospital emergency departments in the Cincinnati-area are seeing an increase in patients who have flu symptoms and complications, pushing hospitals be near or at capacity, partially because flu is raging in the region. Hospitalizations for flu locally rose 107% last week. asked several local healthcare experts about what people should do as flu cases surge. One of those was Jennifer Forrester, MD, of the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine at the UC College of Medicine. 

Jennifer Forrester, MD, of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the UC College of Medicine

Jennifer Forrester, MD, of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the UC College of Medicine/Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

One of the questions posed to the experts was whether or not a family member who gets the flu should isolate. 

"Yes. Influenza is most contagious during the first three days of illness, but it can be contagious for up to seven days," Forrester said. "This virus … is transmitted through droplets from the mouth and nose, so wearing a mask when near others is important.  Also, hand washing is still very important since we all touch our noses, eyes and other parts of our faces."

Another common question for people with the flu is how do they know whether to go to their doctor, an urgent care or the emergency department. 

"You should go to the ER for symptoms like chest pain, difficulty breathing or fevers that don't go away with medication," Forrester says. "Anything that could be serious, or if your physician tells you to go."

The final question asked of the experts was if someone gets a flu shot are they getting the one for the most-likely flu type?

Forrester replied "Yes, the flu shot this year seems to be very effective."

Read the entire story here

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