Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center
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Flu Information

What To Do If You Get the Flu
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates most healthy people recover from the flu without complications.
For those that do become ill, treatments are most effective if begun within two days of the onset of symptoms.

The symptoms of seasonal flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue and in some cases, gastro-intestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

If you get the flu, the CDC recommends that you:

  • Stay home from work or school, and avoid contact with others as much as possible for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care.
  • Get lots of rest, drink plenty of liquids, and avoid using alcohol and tobacco.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it and wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to stop the spread of germs.
  • Take over-the-counter medications to relieve the symptoms of the flu (but never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, particularly fever).
  • Remember that serious illness from the flu is more likely in certain groups of people including people 65 and older, pregnant women, people with chronic medical conditions and young children.
  • Consult your physician, see one of our PMG physicians, or visit one of our convenient Immediate Care facilities in New Lenox or Plainfield.
  • Be aware of the emergency warning signs that require urgent medical attention.

Emergency Warning Signs: If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care.

In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish or gray skin color
  • Not drinking enough liquids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Sever or persistent vomiting
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

Click here to print: What To Do If You Get the Flu

What To Do To Prevent the Flu

In addition to getting a flu shot, you can also protect yourself from the flu with these steps suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Clean your hands. Wash your hands often to help protect you from the germs. Use soap and warm water for 15 to 20 seconds. If using a hand dryer, turn it on with your elbow. If soap and water aren't available, use alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick. Avoid work, school, and errands when you are sick to help protect others from catching your illness.
  • Frequently clean common surfaces such as doorknobs, phones, water faucets and the refrigerator door.
  • Don't share things that go into the mouth, such as straws and drinking cups.
  • Stay Healthy! Good habits such as getting plenty of sleep, engaging in physical activity, managing stress, drinking water to stay hydrated, and eating healthy food will help you avoid getting sick during the flu season and all year long.  

Symptoms of the flu can include:

  • Fever (usually high)
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Muscle aches
  • Dry cough
  • Gastro-intestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea (much more common among children than adults)

Click here to print: What To Do To Prevent the Flu.

According to the Will County Health Department, influenza activity has continued to increase at a rapid speed in last few weeks in Will County. In addition, the Medical Center has recently encountered multiple admissions for possible infectious gastroenteritis.  

Practice good health habits to keep the flu from spreading, including:

  • Washing your hands with soap and warm water for 15 seconds (the equivalent of singing the ABC song twice).
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue. Also, try to avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, since germs can spread this way.
  • And most importantly, stay home if you are sick. If you have a cough, fever, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea AND these symptoms may be due to an infectious illness, please refrain from visiting at this time.  This is to protect our patients, employees, physicians, and all who enter the Medical Center.

Remember as Will County experiences an influx in flu-related patients, we are doing our best to provide the highest standard of care for all of our patients. Your understanding and cooperation is greatly appreciated.


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