When Should You Go To The Doctor For Flu Treatment?
The flu season has a lot of people asking questions including ‘What's the best treatment?' and ‘When should I see my doctor?'
As Oklahomans line up to get their flu shot, and the state health department telling us seven deaths have been attributed to the H1N1 virus this year, we went to infectious disease specialist Dr. Heather Bell for advice on staying healthy.
"There is a lot of press that has been generated with this novel flu that is out. But, in reality, it is still just a flu virus like all the others that we have been dealing with for a long time," said Dr. Heather Bell, Infectious Disease Specialist.
Dr. Bell says there are certain people who should go to their doctor right away if they start showing symptoms:
- Children under five
- Adults over 65
- People with a chronic medical condition or congenital heart disease, and
- Pregnant women
"Those are the patients that we really want to treat with the Tamiflu, those are the ones who will benefit, those are the ones we know we can keep you out of the hospital if we treat you soon enough," Dr. Bell said.
If you're not in those categories Dr. Bell says there's no need to go to your doctor or the emergency room.
She says it's best to just stay home and let the virus run its course which this year is about seven days.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Heather Bell says the best treatment at home is to stay warm, take Tylenol or Ibuprofen for the fever - but stay away from aspirin - and drink lots of water. You only need Gatorade if you are having stomach problems, she said.
"Water's actually one of the best ways to take care of yourself. Your body has its own way of generating all of the electrolytes that you'll need," Dr. Bell said.
Dr. Bell suggests that anyone with specific concerns should talk with your personal physician.