KeepHealthCare.ORG – flu-like symptoms: The office PC keyboard, mouse or coffee mug may have the flu virus on it
Flu seems to be affecting people in many parts of the country, given that monsoon has set in, the season when flu peaks here. Office-goers who work in close proximity to one other are particularly susceptible to this contagious illness. Flu, or influenza, can spread to others up to six feet away when a sick person talks, sneezes or coughs.
In fact, you can get flu even by touching objects such as a keyboard, mouse or coffee mug that have the virus on it. However, you can take steps at work as well as home that help reduce your chances of getting the flu. To begin with, it is important to recognise the symptoms.
“Some of the obvious symptoms are dry and hacking cough, sore throat, shaking chills, body aches, headache, stuffy and runny nose, fatigue that may last up to two weeks, nausea, vomiting and giddiness,” said Dr P Jagadeesh Chandra, consultant-internal medicine at Sagar Hospitals in Bengaluru.
WHEN FLU STRIKES YOU
Paracetamol can be taken as it helps reduce fever, Chandra said. But many a time, people tend to take aspirin, which should be avoided, as it can cause complications.
Dr Shalini Joshi, senior consultantinternal medicine at Fortis Hospitals in Bengaluru, said when the fever lasts even after 48 hours, paracetamol can be taken for mild-to-moderate cases.
Dr Tanu Singhal, consultant, paediatrics and infectious disease at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai, said, “If patients have symptoms of a mild flu-like illness such as low-grade fever, sore throat and cough, they can self-medicate with paracetamol and stay at home. However, if they have high fever or their symptoms do not improve by the third or fourth day or they experience signs such as extreme weakness or breathing difficulty, they should seek medical care immediately.”
Unlike the common cold, the flu can develop into a more serious condition, such as pneumonia. “People at the risk of serious complications include those who are over 50, pregnant women, children younger than two, those with weakened immune systems due to HIV, steroid treatment or chemotherapy, people with chronic lung or heart conditions, people with metabolic disorders, such as diabetes, anaemia or kidney disease, people in nursing homes and people living in congested areas,” Chandra said.
“Influenza is rated stronger and might last for almost two weeks and might be very mild compared to the cold,” he said. “For people with health conditions such as asthma, the flu becomes so dangerous that it weakens their immune system. Diabetics and people with heart conditions are at risk too.”
Chandra advised that a few precautions and a nourishing diet can go a long way in ensuring that you stay in the pink of health throughout the monsoon season, when, according to him, the human body is most susceptible to infections, diseases and sickness. “It is advisable that rather than falling under the weather, we prepare ourselves for the challenges this weather imposes on us,” he said.
THIS ONE’S A SURE‘SHOT’ THING
The best way to prevent the flu is by getting the flu shot, according to Chandra. Vaccines give around 50% protection that lasts up to a year. Those at risk should receive annual vaccination.
Smart Tips To Stay Healthy In Delhi’s Poor Air QualityIn A Maze Of Dust
16 Jun, 2018
The past week has seen hazardous air quality levels in the national capital of Delhi. The city has been covered in a thick layer of haze and dust, compromising the visibility as well. The continuous dust storm has hit the PM10 levels between 750 and 800 in Delhi NCR, which is way past the severe mark in Air Quality Index.
The authorities are doing their bit to bring down the level of particulate matter in the air by sprinkling water around the city.
However, there are certain precautions every individual can do to stay safe during such severe weather conditions.Stay Indoors
15 Jun, 2018
Small dust particles can lead to moderate to severe respiratory conditions like hay fever, common cold, cough, eyes and throat irritation, asthma, dust pneumonia chronic obstructive airways disease (COAD) and emphysema. It is advisable to spend more time indoors, rather than venturing out unnecessarily. Do keep the doors and windows closed as much as possible.Masks To The Rescue
15 Jun, 2018
The quality of air takes a deep dip during and after the dust storms. The miniscule dust particles that include pollens, heavy metals, arsenic, fertilizers, virus, bacteria, salts, sulphur and pesticides can easily enter the lungs. People with respiratory problems and allergies face a lot of difficulty during this time. Health experts suggest wearing mask indoors and outdoors. Avoid the basic surgical and comfort masks. Opt for N95/N99/FFP3 or ‘NIOSH Approved’ that filters out more than 95% of particles (larger than 0.3 microns).Immunity-Boosting Food
16 Jun, 2018
Sticking to the right dietary plan is one of the most crucial things to do during dust storms. The weather can lead to various illnesses like common cold, tiredness, sore throat, irritation in eyes and nose, ceaseless cough, wheezing and other respiratory problems.
To keep yourself safe and boost immunity in the changing season, plan your diet properly and include gooseberries, flaxseed oil, hot soups, olive oil, vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, vitamin E-rich diet, omega-3 diet, honey, garlic, neem, oatmeal, green tea, carrot juice, and pineapple extract.
Stay hydrated, opt to drink lukewarm water, and working out regularly to stay healthy.Use Air Purifiers
15 Jun, 2018
No matter how many precautions you take, the indoor air quality is bound to get impacted by the outside air. If it becomes too oppressive, it makes sense to invest in an air purifier that helps remove up to 99.99% pollutants.
When deciding to buy an air purifier (starting from Rs 10,000), avoid ionizers and UV light-based air purifiers as they produce ozone. Always look for high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. The size of the room, the device placement, air changes per hour (ACH), and clean air delivery rate (CADR) are few factors that determine the efficiency of the air purifier.