What to do when you get the flu - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

What to do when you get the flu

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by John Wilmer

WATERLOO(KWWL) -- Both seasonal flu and H1N1 are making the rounds throughout the state of Iowa, but doctors say there is little to fear if you take the proper precautions.

Signs of seasonal flu include fever, muscle aches, sore throat, and a cough. H1N1 includes those symptoms but vomiting and diarrhea are also common especially in children.

Doctors we talked to say most people don't need to go to the doctor's office, but certain people should if they have complications. That list includes pregnant women, children under the age of five, and those suffering from chronic illnesses such as asthma, lung disease and diabetes.

Families with a child who is sick and want to avoid spreading the disease should make sure parents and any other child caregiver gets vaccinated. Other simple precautions such as covering your mouth and nose when you cough, washing your hands frequently, and separating the sick child from the other children as much as possible are also helpful solutions.

"Although we get used to the flu every year as the seasonal flu comes around 38,000 to 39,000 Americans die from this disease every year and that's normal. So you don't want to be apart of that category so I would recommend those precautions we talked about and getting vaccinated," said Pediatrician, Stephen Riggs.

As for when you can go back to work or back to school, your temperature is a good indicator. Doctors recommend 24 hours after your fever has broken and you are able to eat and drink and perform your normal activities before resuming a normal schedule.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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