Thursday, February 28

Please Stay Home!

A 12 year old child has died, in Minnesota, due to the flu.

If you are sick, please, please stay home. Do not venture out to church, school, or work, if at all possible.

I can think of so many from church that are, or have been, terribly sick. I'm so glad that they are on the mend. One in particular weighs heavy on my mind, as he ended up at the hospital. Scary stuff!

If you are subjected to the virus you won't notice symptoms for 3-5 days. From the time you contract it, you are contagious from 5-7 days. I think it would be safe to say that you should avoid going out for a week after you start feeling lousy. This would go a long way in preventing an outbreak at your job, church, or school. And WASH, WASH, WASH those hands!

The following was taken from

Question: How is the flu usually transmitted? What about handshaking? And if you do shake hands, should you immediately wash your hands?

Dr. Clements: Usually flu is spread by oral secretions -- most often by breathing in droplets expelled into the air by an infected person's cough. These droplets can land in your eye or nose; or they get on your face and you touch your face and then touch your mouth or rub your eyes or scratch your nose. If you shake hands with a person who is coughing or sneezing, it would be a good idea to wash your hands.

You can also get the flu from sharing cups, glasses, or other household objects used by a person who has the flu.

Question: What is the incubation period for the flu?

Dr. Clements: When you get infected with the flu virus, it multiplies quietly in body until you get symptoms of the disease and start excreting enough virus to give to someone else. That's the incubation period. For the flu, it is about two to five days. So if you are exposed today, you probably won't have any symptoms for three to five days. Then you have a little headache, maybe a few aches and pains and maybe a low fever. Then, the next day, you have a high fever and a runny nose.

Question: How long are you contagious?

Dr. Clements: Most adults are contagious for about five to seven days. With young children, it's longer. The youngest kids (1 to 2 year olds) can be contagious for 10-14 days. And they can also have diarrheal illness when they get the flu. They get more symptoms that we adults typically have.

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