Advertisement
Icon WebMD Expert Blogs

In the Spotlight

Featuring guest bloggers and special events

Important:

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, review, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have... Expand

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

Hide

Monday, February 10, 2014

3 Questions About Flu With Susan Rehm, MD

flu woman

 

WebMD Medical Editor Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH, sat down with Susan Rehm, MD, the medical director for the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), for insights into this year’s flu season. Rehm also shared results of a recent NFID survey on the flu.

What are the highlights of the NFID survey?

Although Americans understand that the flu is a serious illness and the flu vaccine is very important to prevent it, 41% don’t realize that people can be contagious before symptoms start.  Symptoms of the flu can start between 1 to 4 days after you are exposed. During that window you could be spreading the virus to others around you. Hand-washing can help stop the flu from spreading person to person.

Remember flu symptoms using the word FACTS:

FACTS

  • fever
  • aches
  • chills
  • tiredness
  • sudden onset

Who’s at risk this season?

Everyone is at risk.  Nearly all the virus this season circulating is a strain called pH1N1. It’s also known as swine flu. It first started circulating in 2009 and became a pandemic strain that young adults and children are particularly vulnerable to.  It may be that older adults may have partial immunity from exposure to a related virus years ago.

Last year 169 children died, most of whom were healthy to start.   This has led CDC to recommend everyone 6 months and older, including pregnant women, get vaccinated for the flu.

If you do get sick, call your doctor.  You may benefit from antiviral medicines like Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamivir), especially if you start it within 48 hours of feeling ill. Surprisingly, 59% of Americans do not realize there are prescription medicines available.

How long am I contagious?

When you are sick with the flu it’s very important to stay home.  It is no good to expose people in the office or at school.  You can return to work after you are fever-free for 24 hours.

Posted by: WebMD Blogs at 10:32 am

Comments

Leave a comment