It has become apparent to Dr. Justin Marostica a Tigard Dentist that flu activity is high and widespread throughout Portland, Oregon. The Oregonian reported last week that over 115 people have been hospitilized in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties and that number is rising daily. There have also been 9 confirmed deaths related to flu although the influenza virus could not be confimred as the official cause. Also on the rise is the number of cases of H1N1 flu or better known as the swine flu. Of all the flu illnesses reported 63% have been confirmed H1N1 which is also the one that caused the widespread pandemic in 2009. Of those hospitalized with the flu a reported 77% were under the age of 65 as reported by the Oregonian.
It is obvious that the flu is on the rise here in the Portland, Oregon and in the surrounding suburbs, so what precautions should you take to prevent getting or spreading the flu. It is important that if you or someone you know, especially if they are young, has the flu that you visit or take them to their doctor. If the symptoms last for multiple days don’t hesitate to go to the nearest Emergency Room as prolonged flu symptoms can lead to severe dehydration and even death.
As a dentist in Tigard, OR, Dr. Marostica has some dental advice that might help prevent getting or spreading the flu.
1. Get a flu shot. Some will say that getting a flu shot gave them the flu, but this is rare. There are side effects to the flu shot, but mostly runny noses or sore throats. The benefits of getting a flu shot far out weigh the risk. Obviously, less likelihood that you will contract the flu virus, less time away from work, and less risk of spreading the virus to family and friends. Those that benefit the most from the flu vaccine are infants, toddlers, school-aged children, and the elderly. If you are a parent you can testify that having a child ill with the flu is not a pleasant experience. The flu shot is offered at many pharmacies and is sometimes given out for free.
2. Wash you hands regularly. Washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to prevent getting the flu and spreading the flu virus. We touch hundreds to thousands of things everyday and there are microscopic organisms that live on these items that can cause some serious illness. Washing your hands can eliminate those microorganisms that can be on our hands when we touch things. It is also important to eliminate handshaking, high-fiving or secret handshakes during times of illness. Also don’t forget to always wash your hands after being in or using a bathroom.
3. Practice good oral hygiene. Having good oral hygiene will help you prevent illness. If you or someone in your family is sick with the flu it is important that you get rid of any toothbrush, toothpaste, or other oral hygiene equipment that could possibly be contaminated with the germs causing the flu or other illnesses. Don’t forget during times of illness, in particular the flu, when vomitting, you should always try to brush you teeth 20-30 minutes after. Vomitting will cause an increase in acid on teeth and over a prolonged period can break down the enamel. Immediately after vomitting rinse your mouth out with water. This will help eliminate acid and neutralize the oral cavity. These are few oral hygiene tips when dealing with the flu.
4. Keep hydrated and eat healthy. This is always a good tip for any illness and for just being healthy. The truth is those that eat healthy and excercise regularly are less likely to get sick. The our bodies are healthy they are able to fight illness and infection better. Our immune systems are alert and ready when the time comes to fight a virus or other germs. You will also be happier which will make fight the illness and recovery that much better.
5. Stay away from those that have had the flu in the past 48 hours. It is always a good idea to avoid if possible contact with people that have been ill with the flu for approximately 48 hours. Now this isn’t always possible especially those with kids. Avoid shaking hands or getting to close as the flu virus can move quickly and aggressively. If you have had the flu it is a good idea that as you start to feel better that you give yourself 24-48 hours to fully recover. This will allow your body to regain the energy that it once had and for the virus to work it’s way out of your system.
It is very important that you visit it your primary care physician regularly. If you or someone you know has the flu you should seek medical advice from your doctor. Remember the flu is DEADLY! Take it seriously and follow all necessary precautions. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like the flu virus will be going away anytime soon so stay alert and healthy.
If you have questions or comments feel free to contact Tigard Dentist Dr. Justin Marostica of TenderCare Dental 503-670-7088 or visit our website https://tendercarepdx.wpengine.com/.