H1N1, H3H4H5abcdefxy, whatever the name of the dang flu bug trying to jump on you, if you need to use your voice, your fear and justified paranoia is the same. I have it this week; you don't want it. (Don't worry, you can't catch it from a blogpost:) Here are some random thoughts:
- The best offense is defense. In public right now, assume everything you touch has just been touched by a virus shedder (how's that for a visual?) If you must touch it, don't touch your face until you wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or with an alcohol based sanitizer til it dries. In my opinion, grocery store carts would probably be biological wonderlands! I know, ewe.
- If anyone sneezes or coughs close to you, assume those tiny little droplets drifted towards your mucous membranes and you've been exposed. That's the hard truth. (Read the next tip)
- If you've been exposed to the flu, try Tamiflu prophylactically (which means for prevention). My doctor and brother-in-law Charlie Ferguson says it may prevent you from getting it or shorten it's severity and duration. The drawbacks...it requires a prescription and it's about $100 a package. Of course, Dr. Ferguson and I would both tell you to consult with and follow your own medical professional's advice. All I know is that it's working great for me.
- If you get the flu, cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing to protect others. Also, use alchohol wipes on surfaces you touch and wash your own bedding (from all that sweating). I'm in the guest room till I'm bug free :<
- If you have the flu, take Tamiflu, use acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever reduction, drink lots of fluids and sleep. Trust me, it's all you'll want to do anyway. Also, my sister Pam Hubbard made me some of her precious tonic which I put in tomato or orange juice and makes my throat feel great. For the recipe, click on "Master Tonic" on this page. Correction... use jalapeno peppers instead of ceyenne, sorry bout the mistake. You have to let it steep for a couple of weeks so you might want to make it NOW.
- When can you go back to work? If you have the flu, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) Even if you do go out after this, err on the side of caution and continue covering any cough or sneeze, don't touch people or shake anyone's hand, don't breath in anyone's face, wash your hands frequently, especially after you sneeze or cough on them.
- And finally...a great site for more information is the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) page here.