By Ryan MacArthur |

It’s almost that time again – along with the leaves changing comes the dreaded flu season. Influenza, aka the “flu” is a contagious viral infection that attacks your respiratory system.

The CDC estimates the flu affects up to 35.6 million people each year in the U.S. While most people typically just catch a mild case and recover in less than two weeks, over 5,000 people die annually from the flu.

Who has the highest risk?

Young children, the elderly, pregnant women and residents of long-term care facilities are at particularly high risk of developing flu-related complications, such as pneumonia or bronchitis.  As a result, these patients are more likely to require hospitalization.

According to the CDC, at least 140,000 flu sufferers have been hospitalized each year since 2010. The flu can also be dangerous to those with pre-existing medical conditions, such as asthma, kidney or liver disorders, heart or lung disease, and may make these chronic health problems even worse.

How can IV fluids for the flu help?

Since the flu is a virus, and not a bacterial infection, it cannot be treated with normal antibiotics. IV therapy can help replenish essential fluids and nutrients, boosting the immune system and allowing the body to fight the virus more effectively.

Health care providers generally administer IV therapy in cases of severe dehydration or vomiting.

IV therapy is considered especially beneficial because of its ability to supply the body with what it needs quickly through the bloodstream. The body absorbs intravenous medications, fluids and nutrients much faster than oral versions, which can speed up a patient’s recovery time and help mitigate flu symptoms.

How can we minimize symptoms and prevent the flu from spreading?

Once a patient has contracted the virus, it is important to minimize contact with others to prevent the spread of the illness. 

  • Stay at home and get plenty of rest – don’t try to go to work or send your kids to school!  
  • Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, especially ones with electrolytes
  • Breathe in steam to ease your cough
  • Cover coughs and sneezes to keep others in your home from getting sick
  • Thoroughly disinfect shared surfaces such as door handles, light switches, faucets, etc.

Caregivers should wash their hands frequently, avoid touching their eyes, noses and mouths as much as possible, and refrain from sharing items such as towels, bedding, dishes and utensils with the patient.  

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References –

Image Source: https://www.apnews.com/c62970809845472cae7302125109399d

Disease Burden of Influenza: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/burden.htm

Frequently Asked Flu Questions 2018-2019 Influenza Season: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2018-2019.htm

Influenza: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/flu.htm

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