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Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Flu bugged? How Do You Know When to Get Help?

Sick with the Flu? Know When to get Medical help? 

Just about everyone we've chatted with has been down with a flu bug. How do you know when you should get medical help? It's a tough call.  Years ago, when I came down with a nasty bug. A friend took me to Cobourg hospital for help, but they sent me home. I'm grateful my friend stood her ground and insisted they keep me for observation, or I might not be typing this note today. I was one of the few survivors of a meningitis epidemic that survived.
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How can you tell if you should get medical help?
Ross Memorial Hospital Lindsay offers these tips on when to get medical help if a flu bug bites you.

Understanding Influenza

 (The Flu) Influenza is an acute respiratory illness caused by a virus. Influenza symptoms include fever, cough, weakness, body aches and headache. Influenza can lead to pneumonia.
Most people with the flu are strongly encouraged to avoid the Emergency Department to prevent spreading the flu to others, but it can be difficult to know when and where to seek medical help.
To help people know when to stay home and when to seek help, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care developed an online self-screening tool at ontario.ca/flu. The website also offers tips for managing flu symptoms at home, which includedrinking lots of fluids and taking basic pain or fever symptom relievers.

When to seek medical help 

If you do not start to feel better after a few days or if your symptoms get worse, you should: ·

  • Call your health care provider 
  • Call Telehealth at 1-866-797-0000 (toll free) TTY: 1-866-797-0007 
  • Visit one of the local After Hours Clinics 

When to come to the hospital 

Adults should come to the Emergency Department if they have flu symptoms and have difficulty breathing, can’t tolerate fluids or are concerned. Children should be brought to the Emergency Department if their symptoms improve and then suddenly become worse. In addition, seek care if you notice any of the following signs:

  • fast or difficult breathing 
  • bluish or dark-coloured lips or skin 
  • drowsiness to the point where he or she cannot be easily wakened 
  • severe crankiness or not wanting to be held or ·
  • dehydration – not drinking enough fluids and not passing urine regularly 
If you haven't been vaccinated, please consider getting the flu shot to protect yourself and your loved ones. Contact your healthcare provider or participating pharmacist. People who are feeling ill should not visit patients at the hospital. Instead of visiting, consider calling or emailing using the tlc@rmh.org service. Those who must come to the hospital are asked to pay extra attention to their hand hygiene. Influenza can be transmitted for 24 hours before the onset of symptoms and for five days after the onset of symptoms.
Have you been hit with a nasty bug? We hope you feel better soon.
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