Beware the summer flu
A SAVAGE “summer flu” is sweeping across the Fraser Coast and elbows should figure prominently in its path.
“It’s a viral infection more than a flu,” Dr Shaun Rudd, president of the Fraser Coast Local Medical Association, said yesterday.
“You don’t get diarrhoea with flu.”
A virus is a small micro-organism that can only reproduce inside a host’s living cell. It is very difficult to kill a virus. That’s why some of the most serious communicable diseases known to medical science are viral in origin.
The reported symptoms of the current illness include sneezing, coughing, temperatures, severe stomach cramps and diarrhoea.
“One way of stopping it spreading is to use your elbow,” Dr Rudd said.
“Droplets pass on viruses so if you sneeze or cough into the crook of your elbow you’ll catch any drops.
“Otherwise use a tissue or your hand and go wash your hand immediately before you touch anything.”
Viruses are spread from one person to another by:
- Bites from infected animals or insects
- Exposure to infected bodily fluids through sexual intercourse or sharing hypodermic needles
No treatment exists for viruses except through support treatment.
So if you have a temperature you can take medication to bring that down, or if you’re dehydrated, drink water.
“Your body’s defence system and rest are the most important things to fight the virus,” Dr Rudd said.