Over the past few weeks, the staff at the Campbell County Medical Group
Kid Clinic have seen an increase of influenza (aka, the flu) cases in Gillette, Wyoming.
Below is some helpful information on how to protect yourself and your
family from getting the flu, and how to treat your symptoms if you do get it.
What is the flu (Influenza)?
The flu is a virus that can cause mild to severe symptoms such as:
- body aches
- sore throat
- nasal congestion
- and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea.
Most healthy individuals can get over the flu on their own; however, young
children under the age of 2, adults 65 years and older, and individuals
with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, chronic lung disease,
heart disease, and illnesses that can weaken the immune system can become
very ill. In these high-risk populations, the flu can sometimes lead to
hospitalization and even death (usually due to complications from the
flu, such as pneumonia). If you have symptoms of the flu, your doctor
can test you for the flu if they feel that is necessary.
Is there a treatment for the flu?
If you are diagnosed with the flu within 48 hours of symptom onset, you
can be treated with an anti-viral medication called Tamiflu (Oseltamivir).
This medication works to prevent any serious problems that can be caused
by the flu and can sometimes decrease the duration of your illness by
one to two days, on average. It can also help to prevent the spread of
influenza to others. Because the flu is a virus, antibiotics do not work.
Not everyone who develops the flu needs to take Tamiflu. Most healthy individuals
will be able to fight off the illness on their own within 1-2 weeks. It
is generally suggested that you use over the counter medications as needed
to treat your symptoms, get plenty of rest, and drink extra clear fluids.
NEVER give Aspirin to a child less than 18 years of age with flu symptoms
as this can lead to
It is VERY important to stay home from work or school while you are sick
to prevent the spread of the flu. Your fever should be gone for at least
a full 24 hours without taking any medication to reduce your fever before
you return to work or school.
Can the flu be prevented?
The best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine every year. People
who get the flu vaccine can sometimes still get the flu, but they will
likely have more mild symptoms and will be less likely to develop serious
complications from the flu.
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol rub any time
before you eat. Try not to touch your mouth or your face without washing
If people are sick, it is best just to stay away from them until they are
If I or my child has the flu, what are some reasons that we should see a doctor?
If you have any trouble breathing or shortness of breath, you feel pain
or pressure in your chest or belly, you feel confused or dizzy, or if
you have severe vomiting.
If your child is breathing fast or is having difficulty breathing, has
any blue color to their skin or around their lips, you are concerned your
child is not drinking enough fluids, your child is not responding when
you try to wake them up, your child is so uncomfortable they don’t
want to be held, or if your child gets better from the flu and then becomes
ill again shortly after with a fever and a cough.
If you have any questions or concerns, never hesitate to contact your doctor
or health care provider for further information and assistance.
Learn more about how you can protect yourself from the flu at
This blog was written by
Val Amstadt, PA