What to do if you think you have the flu
Cheryl Walker

I was just sitting at my desk, when all of a sudden my head and body started aching. I felt a fever coming over me and I was exhausted. What is going on? You may have caught the influenza virus or “flu” for short. One of the distinguishing characteristics of the flu virus is its sudden onset. Symptoms may include fever, headache, body aches, extreme tiredness, runny or stuffy nose, dry (nonproductive) cough and sore throat.

The influenza virus is a highly contagious respiratory illness in humans, which means it attacks the nose, throat and lungs in our bodies. Influenza is often confused with what people refer to as the stomach flu. The main symptoms of stomach flu are nausea, profuse vomiting and often diarrhea. What we refer to as stomach flu is not really flu because it is not caused by the influenza virus but rather by other viruses, bacteria or parasites that cause illness.

Although children and a few adults may experience nausea or feelings of being sick to your stomach’ as a symptom of influenza, it is not the main symptom but rather a secondary symptom of the flu that is often brought on by fever or congestion.

If you do catch the flu virus, remember that your doctor won’t prescribe antibiotics since antibiotics only kill bacteria and not viruses. If you suspect you have the flu, however, it is important to see your doctor right away since he/she may be able to prescribe antiviral medications to reduce the severity of your symptoms. These medications must be taken within two days of the onset of symptoms to be effective.

In addition, it is recommended to treat your flu symptoms with 1) rest, 2) plenty of liquids (primarily clear broths and beverages, not cream soups or milk), 3) over-the-counter medications for you’re particular symptoms (contact your doctor for recommendations) and 4) avoidance of alcohol and tobacco products.

Also, remember to always get the flu shot. It may not stop you from getting the flu, but it usually reduces the symptoms.

STEP UP, SCALE DOWN— The first week of Step Up and Scale Down may have passed, but you can still join us during the second through twelve weeks of the healthy lifestyle series. S tep Up and Scale Down 12-week series will help you get motivated to eat better and exercise. This series is not a quick weight loss plan, but it is a lifestyle change of exercise and portion control to help everyone in the family reduce risk from major chronic diseases.

The Step Up and Scale Down 12-week series will be conducted in Cameron and Rockdale. A registration fee of $30 will provide you with a notebook of educational information, recipes and guides to help you make 2014 the year to Step Up and Scale Down.

The series will be taught in Rockdale and Cameron starting in January. Each session will be conducted from 6-7 p.m. The Rockdale sessions will be on Tuesdays (next session on Jan. 14 at the First Christian Church Fellowship Hall). The Cameron sessions will be on Thursdays (next session on Jan. 16 at Bea’s Kitchen).

Registration materials are available from the Healthy Lifestyle members and the Milam County Extension Office: 100 E. 1st Street in Cameron, 254-697- 7045, or

Along with the one hour class and weigh-in each week, the local fitness centers are providing three thirty minute sessions for everyone in the series. Details on the fitness sessions from Results Fitness in Cameron and Snap Fitness in Rockdale will be provided at the meetings in January. Speakers representing the Healthy Lifestyle Task Force of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service-Milam County Office will be from Little River Health Care, Scott and White Pharmacy, Scott and White Clinic, Milam County Health Department and the Extension Office.

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2014-01-09 digital edition

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