The Flu and You

Thursday, January 17th, 2013, 11:21 pm

Did you get your flu shot? This post won’t have much to do with your oral health but I would like to talk about your health and your chances of getting the flu this year.Dr. Wilbanks offers tips for preventing the flu.

The best protection we have against the flu is the vaccine – but lots of people have heard that it is only 62% effective so they think “why bother?” and don’t get the shot. Now I understand not wanting to get another shot, I give injections all day long and I still don’t like to be on the receiving end. Getting the flu is just so miserable that a small, painless injection is a good start on the road to prevention. Good news is that if you do get the flu after having the shot you will probably have a milder case.

What else can you do to avoid the flu?

  • Wash your hands frequently, and really wash, with soap and water! You don’t actually need fancy antibacterial soaps, just plain soap and water.
  • Use hand sanitizer when you can’t wash your hands.
  • Clean the stuff you touch. Think about all the items you touch each day and how many people have touched them before you… Use disinfecting wipes to clean your phones, keyboards, remote controls and doorknobs. Wash your hands after using the ATM, touching the stair rails, etc.
  • Stay home if you feel sick. Even if you don’t have the flu, you don’t need to share your virus with your friends.

How do you know you have the flu and not another virus? Flu symptoms usually come on very quickly and give you the “I feel like I was run over by a truck” feeling. Symptoms will include fever, chills, sweats and muscle aches. You probably won’t have stomach symptoms – that means you have another type of virus.

Call your doctor if you have an underlying medical condition, are very young or very old, or if you fever becomes very high. Reports from around the country have said that this flu strain is treatable with antiviral medicine such as Tamiflu but it needs to be started early in the illness.

Keep your immune system strong by eating lots of fruits and veggies, take your vitamins and get enough sleep and exercise. Probiotic supplements may help boost your immune system as well.

If you do get the flu and you have a dentist appointment scheduled please contact us as soon as you feel ill. Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439 to schedule your next visit. Stay well!

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