Preventing the Spread of the Flu

Flu season is upon us and it seems to be worse this year. You hear your child’s classmates have the flu or you have several coworkers out with the flu. Many of us are wondering what we can do to stay healthy and prevent the spread of the flu virus.

Dr. Stacy Furlow, a board certified pediatrician at Northwest Arkansas Pediatrics, a MANA clinic, spoke to Channel 5 News about the 2017-2018 flu season. Watch the video on 5News.

Here is what you can do to help stop the spread of the flu virus: 

  • Get the flu shot every year. The flu shot protects against certain strains of influenza that scientists predict will be prevalent this flu season.  If a person contracts the flu that has received the vaccination, it can help shorten the duration of symptoms and complications of the flu. 
  • Be vigilant about washing your hands, especially after visiting public places and before eating. 
  • If someone has symptoms of the flu, take them to the doctor within 48 hours to get a diagnosis. If the patient tests positive for influenza, your doctor may prescribe a medication that can significantly shorten the duration of the flu.
  • If possible, keep those with the flu in their own room or in a separate area from other members of the household. 
  • If you or a family member is sick, stay home from work, school and other places you could infect others until the person is fever free for 24 hours. 
  • The flu virus can live on surfaces for 24 hours. Disinfect countertops, door knobs and other objects in your home to prevent the spread of germs. 

Be aware of complications of the flu. Young children, pregnant women, adults 65 and older, and those with chronic medical conditions are at a higher risk for developing complications of the flu such as pneumonia, ear infections, and bronchitis. 

Plan to visit the doctor?

If you have a fever and other flu symptoms, it is best to visit the doctor within 48 hours to get a medication to help shorten the duration of the flu. Several MANA family medicine, pediatric and urgent care clinics offer walk-in clinics. You may also send a message to request the first available appointment with your doctor’s office through the myMANA patient portal.

Please wear a mask.

If you visit the doctor’s office with a fever and other symptoms of the flu, please ask the receptionist for a mask to wear in the lobby to prevent the spread of viruses. We appreciate your help!