Updated: 2013/10/4RSS Feed

What to do if you or a Family Member has the Flu

Symptoms of flu come on suddenly and typically start with a fever (temperature over 38oC/100.4oF) followed by other symptoms.

It is probably the flu if you or a family member has a fever (temperature over 38oC/100.4oF) and a cough as well as possibly one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea, nausea or vomiting (only sometimes)

If you have flu-like symptoms, rest at home. Call a doctor or your municipal or provincial health line if your symptoms worsen.

Groups at Higher Risk of Suffering Complications If They Catch the Flu Virus

Contact a doctor for medical advice if the infected person belongs to one of the following high-risk groups:

  • People over 65
  • Adults and children with chronic conditions such as diabetes or cancer.

Special Care for Children

  • Monitor fever closely.
  • Rapid rise in temperate to more than 39oC/102.2oF can cause a fever seizure, usually within the first day of the child becoming sick. Watch for sudden stiffness, jerky movements and vomiting. In case of a fever seizure, stay calm. Leave the child on the floor, move furniture and other objects away, stay close and monitor the child’s movements, and call for medical attention.
  • Do not give Aspirin or other ASA-based pain treatments to children with fever as they have been linked to Reye’s Syndrome, a potentially fatal disease.

Be on the Alert for Complications From Flu

Call a health-care provider IMMEDIATELY for advice, if you or a family member has a fever and one of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing that persists or worsens
  • Chest pains
  • Purplish or bluish lips
  • Difficulty waking up or moving, unusually quiet or unresponsive, strange thoughts or actions
  • Wheezing, shortness of breath or painful breathing
  • Coughing blood
  • Severe neck stiffness
  • Return of fever during apparent return to health
  • New onset of diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain
  • Low urine production or other signs of dehydration

If you or a family member has a fever and one of the above symptoms, you may need to seek emergency help.

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