Flu Treatment in Israel


Hopefully, you paid attention to our blog here and received the flu shot.  However, for those who did not get the vaccine, the influenza season is in full swing in Israel.  Knowing what treatment is best may help you feel better sooner and can prevent others from becoming sick. The flu is highly contagious!! It’s important to take precautions! 

Common flu symptoms are:

    • Fever higher than 38 C (100 F) 
    • Muscle aches 
    • Feeling tired or weak. 
    • Runny nose 
    • Sore throat

Influenza is a virus, and distinguishing it from other viral illnesses can be tricky.  The flu vaccine is considered 60% effective, as defined by the CDC. Still, even those people who get sick after the vaccine will have some benefit - as they usually have milder symptoms with fewer complications.  Having this illness is NOT FUN, with many people describing the flu as feeling as if "run over by a bus."

Flu treatment includes:

    • REST REST and more REST - do not push yourself back to work or school.  Your body needs to spend its energy recuperating.  People who do not rest tend to have longer periods of recovery! 
    • Drink lots of fluids such as water, juice, soda, soups, and herbal tea. Please stay away from caffeinated drinks, as they may contribute to dehydration. 
    • Take over-the-counter medicines for fever, such as acetaminophen (Acamol in Israel) or ibuprofen (Advil or Nurofen). This will also help relieve body and muscle aches.

To prevent spreading flu to others:

    • Don't go to work or school when you are sick!  Most health professionals will say that you should stay home until 24 hours after your fever is gone (with no medication).  If your fever is suppressed by medication - you are still sick!  Although the virus is contagious even before you get symptomatic, it is MOST contagious when you are febrile. 
    • Clean your hands often.  Influenza is spread through droplets that come out of our mouths and noses (even when we speak) and land on anything nearby.  Our hands, which help us blow our nose, sneeze, cough - are the most able to spread flu simply by touching door handles, faucets, and surfaces that other people touch afterward. 
    • Practice good cough and sneeze hygiene by coughing into your sleeve or shoulder.  If that does not work for you, at least cover your mouth with a tissue.  

Some people are at a higher risk for developing complications from influenza.  This includes those with asthma, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, lung disease, and anyone with a weakened immune system. To prevent flu complications, EMA Care recommends a prescription anti-viral medication such as Tamiflu. It would help if you started this ideally within the first day of symptoms.

Go right away to a doctor if you have any of these symptoms:

    • Shortness of breath or wheezing 
    • Coughing up blood 
    • Pain or pressure in chest when breathing 
    • The trouble with balance when walking or sitting up, confusion

EMA Care wishes you a healthy winter! Take good care of yourself!

EMA Care provides medical concierge, case management, and patient advocacy services to tourists, students, and Israel residents. You can contact usat info@healthcareisrael.com.  Schedule your free consultation today.

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