CINCINNATI—With spring at the Tristate’s door, flu season continues with the Ohio Department of Public Health reporting an increase in influenza cases during the last week of February, the latest data available. Physicians are reminding residents to take precautions to stay healthy.
Oded Zmora, MD, an assistant professor in the University of Cincinnati Department of Family and Community Medicine, offers a few tips to stay healthy:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Wash your hands, especially before mealtimes, use soap and water when available and an alcohol-based rub otherwise
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth since openings in the mucous membrane allow germs into the body
- Stay at home when you are sick to keep people around you well
- Clean and disinfect frequently used places at work or home
- Get plenty of sleep, stay active and stay hydrated
"The symptoms of flu usually include fever, sometimes quite high, accompanied by generalized body aches and nasal congestions,” says Zmora, MD, a UC Health physician, based in White Oak. "Some people experience coughing and also headache.”
There have been reports of flu accompanied with diarrhea this year, but Zmora says his office uses a rapid flu test to help with diagnosis. Flu patients are usually contagious one day prior to noticeable symptoms to five days after those symptoms are present. Children might be contagious for up to 10 days, says Zmora.
"There is no magic pill to take care of influenza,” says Zmora. "Tamiflu can reduce the length of the symptoms by up to a day. Most of the time the flu will resolve on its own. We worry more about very young patients and elderly patients with other chronic conditions.”
It’s also not too late to get a flu vaccine, he adds.
Zmora sees patients at UC Health Physician Office, 5575 Cheviot Road, Cincinnati, OH. Appointments can be made by calling 513-475-7788.