CEBU CITY, Philippines - An official of the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) advised the public to keep one’s resistance high to avoid catching influenza or what is commonly known as flu.
Dr. Susana Madarieta, DOH-7 regional director, said people, especially children, should avoid staying out in the rain as this can lower one’s resistance.
“We easily get sick in that condition,” Madarieta said.
Flu can be caused by viral or bacterial infection.
The best way not to catch it, aside from keeping the body's resistance up, is to stay away from crowded places.
According to Madarieta, staying away from malls and cinema theaters can prevent one from getting the flu, which is transmitted by air when one coughs or sneezes.
When one has already contracted the flu, Madarieta advised drinking plenty of liquids either water or fruit juices.
“When we have the flu we get dehydrated, so it is always recommended that we replace our lost liquids since it could make us weaker,” Madarieta said.
Eating vegetables and fruits can also help a person regain strength.
But Madarieta strongly recommended the best thing to do is to consult a doctor.
Common symptoms of the flu are chills and fever, sore throat, muscle pains, severe headache, coughing and weakness.
Madarieta warned that the flu and dengue have similar symptoms.
“Especially fever because that’s the first thing to develop. Dengue fever sometimes gets mistaken for fever brought by flu so we tend to buy medicines for ordinary fever,” she said.
“That is why it is important that we see the doctor before it is too late,” Madarieta said.
A simple blood test will show whether the platelet count of a patient is low enough to signal dengue.
She also warned that if a flu is not taken seriously, it could lead to pneumonia, which could be fatal.
Madarieta said the Philippines is fortunate because it has remained free of the avian flu even if neighboring countries are struggling with the deadly virus.