The above photo is of my seventeen year old baby - in the E.R.
If you don't know by now, the influenza is 'going around'. But what you may not know is that there are at least THREE strains. And once you come down with one, the other is lurking right around the corner to nab you.
My daughter had only been sick for three days when we made the trip to the hospital on a Sunday. Had we waited one more day, the doc would have admitted her to stay. Fortunately, she improved after two quarts of fluid, although it did take them some time to bring her almost 104 degree fever down to just over 101. The flu is that nasty.
The E.R. Doc said to pass on this information: If you display any two of the following symptoms, stay home until you are symptom free - even if you don't have fever! A common myth is that you are only contagious as long as you have a fever. Nothing could be further from the truth!
The Symptoms of Influenza:
Runny nose/head & chest congestion
Fever (anything 99 and above)
Body aches/joint pain/chills/sweats
Fatigue/lack of appetite
Headache that is not relieved with painkillers
The importance of staying home until you are symptom free is this: The influenza will reside in our bodies for at least seven days. During that time, you may 'feel better' or think you are 'on the mend', but that is a mistake. As long as you have any two of the above symptoms, you are contagious - even if it's a headache that won't go away.
My point for this post: Simply put, if a healthy seventeen year old girl can land in the hospital after suffering with this nasty virus for only a few days, consider what it may do to someone with a compromised immune system. Think of the elderly, the very young, those with cancer, Lupus or other immune illnesses. They could likely die should they contract the influenza. You may feel you are 'well enough' to resume your group activities, but the person sitting next to you or even in the same room as you may not sail through the flu as well as you did. My daughter is proof positive of that.
Our oldest girl is finally on the mend, but home from school for the week or until symptoms disappear entirely - doctor's (and Mommy's!) orders.
Be thoughtful....be courteous.....be aware of those around you. And PLEASE stay home if you have the flu.
And if you are reading this and are indeed sick....