Don’t catch the flu!

Recently, many people have complained of high fevers, coughs, runny noses and headaches. Due to the cold weather and time spent in closed areas, the flu, mainly caused by the H3N2 virus, spreads quickly. This type of flu is actually familiar, but it is a disease that can increase its effects day by day and requires special attention.

Coordinator of Clinical Laboratories of Memorial Şişli and Ataşehir Hospitals and Infectious Diseases Specialist Assoc. Dr. Kenan Keskin gave information about the flu and how to prevent it. The flu is common seasonally. However, this latest outbreak is primarily caused by the H3N2 virus, not a new type of virus as feared. About 80 percent of cases are caused by the H3N2 virus, and almost all of the remaining cases are due to the H1N1 virus. This disease is usually serious. It may be necessary to rest for about 1 week. Using antibiotics does not help. One of the most effective ways to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated. Vaccination can be done until the end of February.

You could be at risk
A doctor should be consulted as soon as symptoms appear. Heart and cancer patients, the elderly, pregnant women, people with lung and cardiovascular system diseases, diabetic patients, people with chronic kidney disease, healthcare workers, people over 65 years and people with weakened immune systems are at risk.

To prevent illness…
• Washing your hands frequently with soap and water, and if this is not possible, using hand cleaners containing alcohol helps prevent many illnesses.
• Frequently touched items such as tables, doorknobs, bathroom surfaces, kitchen counters, toys should be cleaned with detergents used for daily cleaning.
• In addition to cleaning agents used daily, certain chemicals such as chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, iodine antiseptics and alcohol are also effective for disinfection.
Items such as bed linen, linens and towels belonging to patients should not be used by others. These must be washed without touching them with the hands, then the hands must be disinfected.
• Plates, cutlery and knives belonging to the patient must be washed in the dishwasher or by hand with detergent.
• To avoid contamination, the mouth and nose should be covered with a tissue during coughing and sneezing. If there is no handkerchief and the mouth and nose are covered by hand, the hands should be washed with soap and water.
• People with influenza should avoid close contact with others and should not go to work or school when the disease is contagious. It is important for those with the flu to rest at home until 7 days after symptoms appear or one day after symptoms completely disappear.
• Wearing a mask (surgical mask, standard mask) for people with the flu will help prevent transmission to others. People who are not sick should use masks when entering patients. Contact with the eyes, nose or mouth after shaking hands with sick people or contact with surfaces contaminated with respiratory secretions can lead to contamination.
• The place must be ventilated frequently.
• The most effective way to prevent influenza is vaccination.