Influenza, stomach flu and now chicken pox: this is the worst in the last five years on the islands, according to Dr. Tracy Morton of the Queen Charlotte health clinic.
The islands got ‘creamed’ with influenza A-the worst kind–in early December when a person brought it up from Vancouver before Christmas, said Dr. Morton.
Doctors thought the flu had run its course when people returned from the All-Native basketball tournament in Rupert brought a second wave, said Dr. Morton. For most people it’s meant the usual aches and pains, but four elderly islanders with lung problems had to be medevaced off islands for life support.
Most people with flu shots have been protected, said Dr. Morton, and there is still some flu vaccine that he knows of at the south end of the islands, so if you haven’t succumbed yet and you want a shot, call the public health nurses in Masset or Queen Charlotte.
If you’ve got the flu, stay home and rest, said Dr. Morton. Don’t be a hero and drag yourself to work, because you’ll only make others sick and delay your own recovery. Rest and fluids will help ease symptoms, and Tylenol is usually safe to reduce fever and discomfort.
The flu leaves people vulnerable to other diseases as well. Doctors have seen cases of 24-hour stomach flu with vomiting or diarrhoea. Clear fluids and potassium rich foods like juices and bananas are the best bets for dealing with this one. Gravol and ginger tea are good for nausea, and Pepto Bismol can relieve abdominal cramps, said Dr. Morton.
An as for the chicken pox-parents and teachers be warned, its out there so lay in a supply of calamine lotion just in case.
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