INFLUENZA – FLU: Symptoms, shot, relief, etc., I give you my motherly advice…no guilt!*

Vol. 3, No. 40, Monday, January 21st, 2013

TITLE: “INFLUENZA – FLU: Symptoms, shot, relief, etc., I give you my motherly advice … no guilt!*

INTRODUCTION

Uggh Oh gazoontite … now that it’s January, the cold, flu and infection season is now upon us. It’s particularly tough on the children and their parents. For mothers & fathers everywhere, it’s care giving of the fever, cough and throat kind. You guessed it – today’s topic is the flu. In this post, I will give you some information, suggestions and a few statistics.  I will also consider the pros and cons of getting a flu shot. My Book of the Week is: “Women’s Health, a Primary Care Clinical Guide,” (Third Edition) by Ellis Quinn Youngkin, PhD, RNC, ARNP & Marcia Szmania Davis, MS, MSED, RNC, WHCNP, ANP. Please continue reading. Don’t worry, I have plenty of tissues. (Editor’s Note: This is another in the continuing series on health.)

ANTOINETTE’S LIFE & TIMES*

The flu is problematic for me as I am asthmatic – it could become worse for me. I am in the habit of washing my hands often. It contributes to an elimination of viruses along with germs and bacteria. In some past years, I received a flu shot. However, I can only report that when I did get a shot, I remember still getting sick.

Winter 2011–2012:. In 2011-2012, I got a flu shot. However, I also remember being queasy.

Winter 2012-2013: In North America, regarding the flu, the winter season has been the worst by far.  Viruses along with germs and bacteria are everywhere. Apparently, the rate of flu this year was 35 times worse than the previous year. The Mayor of Boston, Mass., USA even called a medical emergency due to the overwhelming outbreak in January 2013.

Motherhood: This brings to mind a little story. One Christmas Eve, my daughter, then three, was sick with the flu.  I was worried. When I called her pediatrician, the receptionist told me that he had taken the day off. You can appreciate that I was then on my way to frantic.  But she said that she would see what she could do. In five minutes, she called back, saying that the doctor would come in especially for my daughter. I was so very relieved and grateful. This is what I call a devoted doctor.

Grand Motherhood: This past Christmas, my grandchildren were sick with the flu. My granddaughter ended up with pneumonia. We were all concerned – but all turned out alright following visits to the clinic and spoonfuls of medicine. Along the way, my grandson had a reaction due to an allergy to antibiotics. It was sad that the children didn’t enjoy the holiday very much this year.

FACTS – NO BALONY

The word, “flu”, is short for influenza.

“Ìnfluenza, an acute, usually self-limiting, upper respiratory infection, may be caused by influenza A, B, or C virus. Strains of the A virus are the most common and most virulent. B virus infection has some increased association with Reye’s syndrome. C virus infection is a mild illness, usually not significant or identified clinically.”  (Source:  Pg. 797-798 of my Book of the Week)

Symptoms: Here are a few. Subjective: headache, myalgias, especially in the legs and back, fever often to  102 F to 104 F for three to four days, nonproductive cough, watery eyes, dry throat; and Objective: appearing flushed and sweating . (Source: Pg. 799 of my Book of the Week)

“Influenza Trivalent Vaccine: The high risk groups for whom annual administration of vaccine is currently recommended are persons with congenital or acquired heart disease, chronic lung disease, chronic renal disease, chronic severe anemia, and immunocompromising illness (diabetes, cancer). Others for whom the vaccine is indicated are persons over 60, those living in chronic care/nursing homes, family members of high risk groups and health care workers.” (Source: Pg. 801 of my Book of the Week)

THE AUTHOR: Ellis Quinn Youngkin, PhD, RNC, ARNP & Marcia Szmania Davis, MS, MSED, RNC, WHCNP, ANP.

Ellis Quinn Youngkin, PhD, RNC, ARNP:  He is a Professor and Associate Dean, Christine E. Lyon College of Nursing, Women`s Health Care Nurse Practitioner, University Student Health Services, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida.  

Marcia Szmania Davis, MS, MSED, RNC, WHCNP, ANP: She is a Women`s Health Care Nurse Practitioner, Virginia Women`s Center, Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

SERIES/COLLECTION

THE BOOK: “Women’s Health, a Primary Care Clinical Guide,” (Third Edition) by Ellis Quinn Youngkin, PhD, RNC, ARNP & Marcia Szmania Davis, MS, MSED, RNC, WHCNP, ANP.

This book deals with women`s health from adolescent health through to seniors. The four sections are:1) Women, Health, and the Health Care System; 2) Promotion of Gynecologic Health Care; 3) Promotion of Women’s Health Care During Pregnancy; and  4) Primary Care Conditions Affecting Women’s Health. (N.B. And yes, it does cover influenza.) This information is comprehensive, detailed and well organized. Included is material dealing with pregnancy issues, frequently encountered medical problems, effects of societal, economic, political factors, etc. This has made it a best-seller. The latest edition is better – it has revised and updated content including the latest on hormone replacement therapy along with a  new chapter on complimentary therapies in women`s health. This is a must-have book for all mothers– it’s a keeper for life and beyond by passing it on to your daughter! That`s what I intend to do. But since I have two, I might have to cut it in half. What else can I do? Do you have a better idea?

CONCLUSION

You need to pay attention to Influenza (the flu). It is potentially a problem every year.  

Personal Comments

I say:

  1. That instead of the word, “flu”, my Mom always used the word, “influenza”.
  2. That during the winter, fresh air is limited because of the cold temperatures. We tend to hibernate in the winter. 
  3.  That to avoid the flu, I suggest sleep & rest, eating healthy, plenty of vitamin C and often washing your hands.
  4. That there are pros and cons to the flu shot.  Doctors think it works. But I have seen that a flu shot does not guarantee that you won’t get the flu.  And some people don’t like the idea of having injections of bad stuff. So what to do? You decide!

The Point

Staying in good health and getting better when sick is job #1. When it comes to influenza (the flu), you need to take it seriously– it’s that important!

ANTOINETTE’S TIP SHEET*

Everyone should:

  1. Reduce the risk of catching the flu. To do so, try to

(a)    Get enough sleep and rest;

(b)   Wash your hands often;

(c)    Use a hand sanitizer;

(d)   Eat healthy;

(e)    Get plenty of vitamin C;

(f)     Get the flu shot … especially if in a high risk group;

(g)    Strengthen your immune system by exercising, going for a walk, winter sports, etc.;

(h)    Wash down your phones, computer keys, door knobs, etc. with alcohol wipes;

2. Take yourself to a doctor or clinic sooner, rather than later, for a physical examination;

3. Take a sick day or two; if you have the flu (or a cold); this will help you get better and also protect co-workers;

4. Sneeze or cough into your elbow joint – the flu is contagious and passes through the  air;

Every parent should:

1. Reduce the risk of their child catching the flu. To do so, try to

(a)    Watch your child for signs of the flu:

(b)   Take your child to the pediatrician or clinic sooner, rather than later, for a physical examination;

(c)    Keep your child home from school if he/she has the flu or a cold; this will help your child get better and also protect other students;

PARTING LINE OR TWO TO REMEMBER

When I don`t feel good, with a cough and some fever, I reach for a tissue. Do you want one? I have plenty. I just opened a new box. Oh, by the way, I think I have discovered a new secret weapon. Against the flu bug, I might try something else … wait for it … a fly swatter. Who knows, nothing else seems to work!*

And that’s my thought of the week on books, what’s yours?*
Take it out for a spin and tell me if you agree.
ALP
“Books are life; and they make life better!*”

PREVIEW (tentatively scheduled for January 28th 2013): Feb. 14th is just around the corner. Of course, it’s Valentine`s Day; it’s also the lesser known S.A.D. day (Single Awareness Day). I have been thinking about that question that has confounded women and girls for years: Ìf he does not make the move, should I? In the past, Rule #1 was for a lady to wait for a man to ask you to dance or go on a date. But, today`s woman (and girl) have options.  Personally, I refrained from doing so, but have stories and thoughts. It’s certainly something to think about. And there is time to take the lead and ask out that certain fellow you have been eyeing. If you do it before Valentine`s Day, who knows?  (Editor’s Note: This is another in the continuing series on dating, relationships and marriage.)

PREVIEW (tentatively scheduled for February 4th 2013): Feb. 14th is just around the corner. Of course, it’s Valentine`s Day; it’s also the lesser known S.A.D. day (Single Awareness Day). I was not aware of it– I presume that many of you out there in Internetland also don’t know much about it. I looked into it. Let me tell you what I have discovered. I also will share my thoughts on “singleness”. And by the way, S.A.D. is not contagious. (Editor’s Note: This is another in the continuing series on dating, relationships and marriage.)

P.S. Wowee …Wowee Shop Valente is finally open; and my new line of Antoinerte La Posta* brand of clothing is now available. There is still much more to come to the Save and Read* web site. Watch for it!

 P.P.S. #1 I have a TWITTER page. Consider becoming a follower? Visit www.twitter.com –   saveandread
P.P.S. #2 I also have a FACEBOOK page. Consider becoming a friend? Visit: www.facebook.com – Alp Save Andread – please check it out.
P.P.S. #3 I am on Linkedin. Consider becoming a connection? Visit  www.linkedin.com – Antoinette La Posta
CREDITS

-Web Tech:  richmediasound.com

The above is a new media production of Valente under its “United Author*” program.
*TM/© 2013 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.
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NEED SOMETHING FURTHER? TRY SAVE AND READ* (S&R*) .

ONE – “I SHOULD HAVE SAID THAT!*” – QUOTES

S & R* QUOTE #1: Eleanor Roosevelt

“One must even beware of too much certainty that the answer to life’s problems can only be found in one way and that all must agree to search for light in the same way and cannot find it in any other way.” (Source: Wisdom Quotes) –  http://www.wisdomquotes.com/topics/life/)

S & R* QUOTE #2: Mary Oliver

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” (Source: Wisdom Quotes) – http://www.wisdomquotes.com/topics/life/)

S & R* QUOTE #3: Eleanor Roosevelt

  “Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.” (Source: Wisdom Quotes) – http://www.wisdomquotes.com/topics/life/)

TWO – “IT WORDS FOR ME!*”
For today, my word/phrase(s) is/are: “influenza”, Infection”; etc.

“Influenza, commonly known as the ‘flu’ , is an infectious disease of birds and mammals caused by RNA viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae, the influenza viruses.” (Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza

“Infection is the invasion of a host organism’s bodily tissues by disease-causing organisms, their multiplication, and the reaction of host tissues to these organisms and the toxins they produce.[1](Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infection

THREE– STUDY/STATISTICS:

“The most common symptoms are chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pains, headache (often severe), coughing, weakness/fatigue and general discomfort.[1]

Flu can occasionally lead to pneumonia, either direct viral pneumonia or secondary bacterial pneumonia, even for persons who are usually very healthy.[4][5][6] In particular it is a warning sign if a child (or presumably an adult) seems to be getting better and then relapses with a high fever as this relapse may be bacterial pneumonia.[7]

Typically, influenza is transmitted through the air by coughs or sneezes, creating aerosols containing the virus. Influenza can also be transmitted by direct contact with bird droppings or nasal secretions, or through contact with contaminated surfaces.

Influenza spreads around the world in seasonal epidemics, resulting in about three to five million yearly cases of severe illness and about 250,000 to 500,000 yearly deaths,[12] rising to millions in some pandemic years.

Vaccinations against influenza are usually made available to people in developed countries.[15]

Symptoms of influenza may include:

The influenza vaccine is recommended by the World Health Organization and United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention for high-risk groups, such as children, the elderly, health care workers, and people who have chronic illnesses such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or are immuno-compromised among others.[90][91] (Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza)

FOUR – BONUS ARTICLES

S & R*NEWS ALERT*#1: Tips for maintaining health through cold and flu season

“Cold and flu are common seasonal illnesses that can spread easily from person to person. The following tips will help you to feel your best this season:

Wash hands often viruses can land on surfaces like doorknobs. Always remember to wash your hands, especially before eating, using the restroom or after being outside. Use soap and warm water for 20 seconds and dry hands completely.

Get a Flu shot the influenza virus can spread easily and changes from year to year, which is why there is a new vaccine each year to help protect people.

Use a tissue be sure to cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. One sneeze can spray up to 3,000 infectious droplets into the air. Kleenex brand tissues have Sneeze Shield, a special protective layer in each tissue to help keep stuff off hands.

Lots of sleep the more sleep you can get the better since a good night sleep helps your immune system stay strong.

Maximize fluids drinking lots of water is a proven way to strengthen your immune system and helps you flush your body clean so plenty of fluids are needed.

Stay healthy proper nutrition and exercise help strengthen your immune system.

Stay home if you are sick, stay home to help stop the spread of germs and viruses

In order to stay healthy this cold and flu season follow the above tips and help reduce the spread of viruses and germs. For more tips visit Kleenex.com.” www.newscanada.com

S & R*NEWS ALERT*#2: Recognizing a cold versus the flu

“Cold and flu are often categorized together but the truth is they are different. Know the difference and assess your symptoms to best identify your illness and treat accordingly.

The main difference is that a cold is a mild infection of your nose and throat, whereas the flu is an infection of the airways and lungs.

According to Health Canada, common flu symptoms may include: cough, fever, fatigue, body aches, sore throat, headache, reduced appetite, runny nose and sometimes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms of a cold include runny nose, sneezing, cough and sore throat. With a cold, headache, fever, muscle aches or nausea are not common and good indicators that you likely have the flu.

Help deal with cold and flu by following these tips:

Get a flu shot

Keep Kleenex brand tissues handy for coughs and sneezes to help keep stuff off hands

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

Wash hands often with soap

Keep commonly shared objects clean

If you are sick, stay home

Maintain a healthy lifestyle.” www.newscanada.com

*TM/© 2013 Practitioners’ Press Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

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