What you can do if you get the flu
For the Nevada Appeal
Editor’s Note: This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages throughout the flu season. Readers interested in knowing more about this topic are urged to visit http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu or http://www.flu.gov
Q: Are there any medications for people who get the flu?
A: Over-the-counter cold and flu medications used according to the package instructions and with your healthcare provider’s approval may help with symptoms such as aches, cough and congestion. Symptom-relieving medications include acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprophen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin) and naproxen (Aleve). However, while these medications may help you feel better; they do not make you any less contagious. Stay home if you have the flu.
Warning: Do not give aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) to children or teenagers who have the flu. It can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye’s syndrome. Check ingredient labels on over-the-counter cold and flu medications to see if they contain aspirin.
For certain patients, there are two drugs called antivirals: oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza). These are prescription medicines that fight the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body. Using them can make the illness milder and help the patient feel better sooner.
Antivirals may also prevent serious flu complications. During the current outbreak, people who become very sick with H1N1 flu and those who are at risk for complications from the flu are the highest priority for antiviral medicine.
Most healthy people with the flu do not need antivirals. However, people with health issues such as asthma should consult with their physician right away if they get flu-like symptoms.
Some physicians and health care providers in the community have received supplies of the vaccine. People who fall into the priority groups can contact their health care provider to see if the vaccine is available.
CARSON CITY AREA H1N1 VACCINE UPDATE
Who: People in high priority groups: pregnant women, people who live with or care for children under six months of age, health care workers, people ages 6 months to 24 years old, or anyone with chronic illness or compromised immune systems.
Where: Carson City Health and Human Services, 900 E. Long St.
When: 1-4:30 p.m. Mondays. 8:30-11:30 a.m.; 1-4:30 p.m. Thursdays.
Lyon County Elementary Schools: Nov. 12
Pioneer School: Nov. 13
Kidding Around Day Care: Nov. 13
Bethlehem Lutheran School: Nov. 13
Douglas County Elementary Schools: Nov. 16, 18
Carson Middle School: Nov. 17
Eagle Valley Middle School: Nov. 17
Creative Garden Day Care: Nov. 19
Little Tykes Too Day Care: Nov. 19
Storey County Schools: Nov. 19, 20 (tentative)
Sierra Crest School Minden: Nov. 20
Faith Christian School Gardnerville: Nov. 20
Little Knights and Maidens Day Care: Nov. 20
Carson High School: Nov. 23, 24
Western Nevada College Day Care and Students: Nov. 24
Small Blessings Day Care: Nov. 30
Carson City Elementary Schools (2nd Dose):Dec. 2, 3
Saint Teresa of Avila School (2nd Dose): Dec. 4
Classroom on Wheels Bus: Dec. 4
Shelly Belly’s Day Care: Dec. 7
Linda’s Nursery: Dec. 7
Lyon County Elementary Schools (2nd Dose): Dec. 8, 9, 10
Sunflower Day Care: Dec. 11
Sunshine and Rainbows Day Care: Dec. 11
Douglas County Elementary Schools (2nd Dose): Dec. 15, 16
Little Tykes Too Day Care (2nd Dose): Dec. 21
• Pam Graber, Public Information Officer, Carson City Health and Human Services.