You May Have the Flu if…

You may have the flu if you have some or all of these symptoms:
sore throat
runny or stuffy nose
body aches
sometimes diarrhea and vomiting
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
What should I do if I get sick?

Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.
If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider (doctor, physician assistant, etc.).

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Heart Health Month: Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight

As part of February’s Heart Health Awareness Month, we want to make sure that we share all ways that we can reduce heart disease starting with Eating Healthy for a Healthy Weight.
A healthy lifestyle involves many choices. Among them, choosing a balanced diet or healthy eating plan. So how do you choose a healthy eating plan? Let’s begin by defining what a healthy eating plan is.
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, a healthy eating plan:

  • Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
  • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars
  • Stays within your daily calorie needs

Eat Healthfully and Enjoy It!
A healthy eating plan that helps you manage your weight includes a variety of foods you may not have considered. If “healthy eating” makes you think about the foods you can’t have, try refocusing on all the new foods you can eat—
Fresh, Frozen, or Canned Fruits ― don’t think just apples or bananas. All fresh, frozen, or canned fruits are great choices. Be sure to try some “exotic” fruits, too. How about a mango? Or a juicy pineapple or kiwi fruit! When your favorite fresh fruits aren’t in season, try a frozen, canned, or dried variety of a fresh fruit you enjoy. One caution about canned fruits is that they may contain added sugars or syrups. Be sure and choose canned varieties of fruit packed in water or in their own juice.

2018: Worst Flu Season in Years

Fifty-three children have died from flu-related illness so far this year, according to the CDC. The season has not yet peaked and experts say it is rivaling other severe flu seasons of the past.There were 16 flu-related deaths reported this week by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday in the weekly flu report. This brings the total number of pediatric flu-related deaths to 53 for the season which began in October.

According to the report, influenza activity is now widespread in 48 states and Puerto Rico, down from 49 states during the previous two weeks. Oregon joined Hawaii in lower activity levels for the week ending January 27.

“We have not hit our peak yet, unfortunately,” said Kristen Nordlund, a spokeswoman for the CDC. “It is not going down yet. Really, the bottom line is there is still likely many more weeks to go.”
Caused by viruses, flu is a contagious, respiratory illness with mild to severe symptoms that can sometimes lead to death. The CDC also recorded an uptick in patients who visited health care providers complaining of influenza-like illness across the nation, a rise to 7.1% for the week ending January 27 over 6.5%, the newly revised estimated from the previous week.

Worst in years
This year’s flu season is rivaling the worst in recent years, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the United States’ National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Overall, the data showed 17,024 new laboratory-confirmed cases of illness during the week ending January 27, bringing the season total to 126,117. These numbers do not include all the people who have had the flu, as many do not see a doctor when sick.

Nordlund said there have been reports of spot shortages of the generic version of Tamiflu medicine to treat the flu. This is “a result of flu hitting everywhere all at once,” she said.

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Worried your sore throat may be strep?

Strep throat is a common type of sore throat in children, but it’s not very common in adults. Healthcare professionals can do a quick test to determine if a sore throat is strep throat. If so, antibiotics can help you feel better faster and prevent spreading it to others.  Many things can cause that unpleasant, scratchy, and sometimes painful condition known as a sore throat. Viruses, bacteria, allergens, environmental irritants (such as cigarette smoke), and chronic postnasal drip can all cause a sore throat. While many sore throats will get better without treatment, some throat infections—including strep throat—may need antibiotic treatment.

How You Get Strep Throat
Strep throat is an infection in the throat and tonsils caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria (called “group A strep”). Group A strep bacteria can also live in a person’s nose and throat without causing illness. The bacteria spread through contact with droplets after an infected person coughs or sneezes. If you touch your mouth, nose, or eyes after touching something with these droplets on it, you may become ill. If you drink from the same glass or eat from the same plate as a sick person, you could also become ill. It is also possible to get strep throat from touching sores on the skin caused by group A strep.

A fever is a common symptom of strep throat.

The most common symptoms of strep throat include:
Sore throat, usually starts quickly and can cause pain when swallowing
A fever
Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus
Tiny, red spots (petechiae) on the roof of the mouth (the soft or hard palate)
Swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck

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Flu Symptoms 2018: Should I take my kid to the doctor for the flu?

Flu season hit hard and fast this year.
If you’ve Googled “flu symptoms 2018,” you’re not alone.
But you should probably know that year over year, flu symptoms really don’t change.
Influenza symptoms to look for
All the Moms spoke to Pediatric Emergency Physician Dr. Jon McGreevy from Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Arizona to learn more.

If you’re talking about influenza (and not the stomach flu), the symptoms, according to Dr. McGreevy, include:
Body aches, muscle pain
Nausea isn’t typically a symptom of influenza, by the way. The stomach flu is not influenza. It’s just the stomach flu. Glad we’re cleared that up.

Symptoms for children, adults and the elderly also don’t change as it pertains to the flu.
However, the risks are higher for:
Children younger than 2
Adults older than 65
Those with chronic illness or high-risk medical conditions
High-risk conditions might include asthma, childhood cancer or heart disease, among others.
If you think your child might have the flu

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Is It the Flu or Is It a Cold?


Flu Symptoms

Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
Sore throat
Runny or stuffy nose
Muscle or body aches
Fatigue (tiredness)
Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
* It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Flu Complications
Most people who get influenza will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of the flu, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death.
Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections are examples of complications from flu. The flu can make chronic health problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may experience worsening of this condition that is triggered by the flu.

People at High Risk from Flu
Anyone can get the flu (even healthy people), and serious problems related to the flu can happen at any age, but some people are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and young children.
What are the emergency warning signs of flu sickness?

In children
Fast breathing or trouble breathing
Bluish skin color
Not drinking enough fluids
Not waking up or not interacting
Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
Fever with a rash

In adults
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
Sudden dizziness
Severe or persistent vomiting
Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough

In addition to the signs above, get medical help right away for any infant who has any of these signs:
Being unable to eat
Has trouble breathing
Has no tears when crying
Significantly fewer wet diapers than normal

Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Sounds of the Season: Sniffles and Coughs–24 Hour ER in Katy is here to help when it symptoms get complicated

The sounds of the season are sprinkled with sniffles, snuffles and snorts. All that hacking this early, before the end of the year, portends a potentially ferocious flu season, physicians and public health officials said Monday.
“We started to see flu earlier this year going back to September,” said Dr. Brian C. Reed, the director for disease control and clinical prevention for Harris County Public Health. “The season typically runs from October to March.”
Influenza cases have been increasing in Texas and across the nation since November, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The uptick in illness has proven deadly. The state’s first pediatric flu death in November was counted among eight nationwide, the CDC reports.

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Headache and Body Aches- just one symptom of the flu

Staying Healthy During the Holidays

By Winnie Hsia, November 9, 2012 | More posts by Winnie Hsia

So, you’ve recovered from your Halloween sugar crash and you’re committed to better eating habits for the holiday season. There’s just one problem: mom’s sweet potato casserole covered in butter and marshmallows… or grandma’s ultra rich pumpkin pie… or all of that leftover Halloween candy! Okay, maybe we’ve got a few problems on our hands here.  Many traditional holiday foods are high in sugar, fat and salt — and the sheer length of the modern holiday season (does it seem to last from Halloween to New Year’s?) can exhaust even the best of dietary intentions. Here are a few suggestions for staying health-focused during this time of year.

Cooking & Entertaining
When creating meals for your loved ones, keep in mind that they may share your holiday eating woes. Don’t be afraid to substitute some favorite classes with updated healthful, delicious holiday recipes. You may find yourself creating new faves among your family and friends. A meal prepared from a wide range of delicious, natural, and whole fresh foods is one of the greatest gifts you can give friends and family.

A great starting place for menu planning is to choose recipes that feature seasonal vegetables such as leafy greens, winter squashes and root vegetables. Plan to always serve a green salad and plenty of vegetable and whole grain side dishes with your holiday meals. Speaking of whole grains, try working more of these into your holiday baking. Most recipes will produce great results with half the amount of all-purpose flour replaced with whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour.

At Parties
When you’re not deciding the menu, staying on a healthy path can prove more challenging. We’ve got tips for navigating the nutritional landmines of holiday parties.
Eat a healthy, filling snack or small meal before heading out; it’s easier to make sensible food and drink choices when you aren’t famished.

Once you’re at the party, think about portion sizes. Choose a smaller plate when you head over to a holiday buffet, and have just a spoon or two or a single slice of each offering. Emphasize vegetables and whole grains on your plate with larger portion sizes, which will help you feel satisfied and boost your nutrient intake.

Also, if asked to share a dish for a holiday meal, party or potluck, make it a healthy one! This way you’ll always have at least one great option to fill up on. You can try one of our excellent holiday recipes, or even visit our prepared foods department and look for Health Starts Here-labeled dishes.

Just at Home
Since holiday parties and celebrations tend to derail normal eating habits, too, commit to healthy eating during non-holiday related meals during the season. Base your meals around fruits, vegetables, whole grains and plant-based proteins and avoid processed, salty, sugary and fatty foods. You’ll enjoy splurges more if you know you’re balancing them out with a healthy foundation.
And don’t forget, health is more than just food. Stick to a good exercise plan, and try to add some fun activities like skating, sledding, hiking and walking to your schedule. Take a walk with family after big meals, integrate activity into the party plan, get people moving!
Last but not least, remember to relax, get enough sleep, have some laughs and enjoy the season!
What are your tips for staying healthy during the holidays?  We’d love to hear what helps you!

#givingback Tuesday at SPHIER ER

Giving Back is not something we should think about only once a year.  Giving should be part of what we do everyday of our lives, whether it be a smile, a helping hand, a listening ear or a gift to somebody in need. This year we give thanks if we are doing well, and we take the opportunity to give back. Social responsibility is part of the culture of many businesses.  At SPHIER ER giving back to our beloved Katy community is engrained in our mission. Some of the ways we give back include: Providing 30 plus cases of water weekly to the Monty Ballard YMCA, providing free Medical First Aid at many Katy area and Katy ISD events,  providing free AED/CPR training classes to the community, providing free tours to our area girl and boy scouts so they can receive their first aid patches, and so much more. Get to know your community SPHIER ER by staying in touch on

Take time to get a flu vaccine, or plan on making time for the flu

Take time to get a flu vaccine.
The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.
While there are many different flu viruses, a flu vaccine protects against the viruses that research suggests will be most common. (See Vaccine Virus Selection for this season’s vaccine composition.)
Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year before flu activity begins in their community. CDC recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October, if possible.  Learn more about vaccine timing.
CDC recommends use of injectable influenza vaccines (including inactivated influenza vaccines and recombinant influenza vaccines) during 2017-2018. The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2017-2018.
Vaccination of high risk persons is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness.
People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older.
Vaccination also is important for health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to them.
Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for infants should be vaccinated instead.

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