I apologize for being absent from the blog since Thanksgiving but I had to take an involuntary break. Got mired down in a few things. Will be staying on track now with a blog about every three days, give or take.
This past Monday, December 5, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported the first case of influenza in Mississippi, being reported in Tate County, located in the far Northwest (Delta) area of the state. A couple of days ago I saw the first patient of the flu season in the practice with influenza and that it appears the contagious infection has also arrived on the Coast. If you haven’t had a flu vaccine you may want to consider getting one. It takes about 2-3 weeks for the vaccine to “take”.
Here’s a CDC website with a blurb about influenza if you’ve never read up on it before and have the time to read it
Basically, the treatment consists of taking an antiviral medication
(Tamiflu®), rest, and treatment of symptoms whatever they be. Sometimes, in some people, a ‘hop-a-long’ bacterial infection will occur and an antibiotic for that is sometimes indicated. Otherwise, it is plenty of fluids, being well fed, rest and a prayer. Prevention and precaution should be taken when around people who are coughing or persons with whom you may eat with or be in close contact with. Hand washing is paramount in preventing the infection also.
Also, somewhat related (in a way) is that last month in The Journal of Family Practice was reported an evaluation and thorough statistical analysis of 13 research studies regarding the use of zinc in preventing colds. There’s been some controversy in the past over the effectiveness of zinc in preventing and abbreviating the course of a cold; yes, it works, no, it doesn’t, etc. It’s a long story but the bottom line is that zinc does in fact prevent and shorten the duration of a cold and especially is more effective the sooner it is taken at the very first sign of symptoms. The zinc should be taken in the form of lozenges, in 10-24 mgm doses, taken every 1-4 hours while awake. These can be
purchased over-the-counter and are not very expensive. I have a couple of dozen lozenges (Equate® with 13 mgm/lozenge) in my desk drawer to take in case I develop the first sign of a cold.
Meanwhile, remember during the holiday season to drive safely, wear the seatbelt, and look out for the other guy.