What To Do If You Get The Flu

One of the most frequently asked questions at this time of year is “What should I do if I get the flu”? Since the flu is a virus and not a bacterial infection, antibiotics aren’t going to help. The best way to treat the flu is to get plenty of bed rest and drink lots of fluids.  Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever may also help to reduce the symptoms.

In some situations a physician may prescribe an anti-viral medication if the virus is caught early enough. Any time medication is prescribed, it should always be taken as directed. People should be aware of any potential side effects, and in some cases, contraindications, especially for those who have certain chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure.

In some cases, home remedies may be effective for treating the symptoms of the flu. These include:

  • Eating chicken soup
  • Drinking herbal tea
  • Using a humidifier
  • Applying a warm compresses on the nose and forehead
  • Taking cough drops and throat lozenges
  • Gargling with salt water
  • Using a neti  pot
  • Practicing nasal irrigation

Under most circumstances, the symptoms of the flu will subside on their own after a few days. If you have concerns, see your physician right away. You may schedule an appointment with a physician at Flushing Hospital Medical Center by calling 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Dr. Sherman Klein – Lyme Disease

With summer in full swing, we will be spending more time participating in activities outdoors in areas such as parks, forests and hiking trails.  While getting out and keeping physically fit is strongly encouraged it is important to keep in mind that being in these areas can put you at risk for Lyme disease.

Sherman Klein, MD, specializing in Internal Medicine at Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center offers the following information on Lyme disease, how it is spread, its symptoms, and treatment.

According to Dr. Klein, Lyme disease is the most common tick-born infection in New York City and in the United States.  On the east coast, Lyme disease is spread by the bite of a black-legged tick infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.  Not all black-legged ticks carry this bacterium and, even if they are infected, they must be attached for at least 36 – 48 hours after a person is bitten to transmit the disease.

Black-legged ticks are rarely found in NYC, but if you have been traveling in more rural areas of New York such as Westchester and Long Island you are at greater risk of coming into contact with an infected tick.

The annual number of cases of Lyme disease reported continues to rise each year in non-rural communities.

Some of the early warning signs of Lyme disease are:

  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Rash

These signs and symptoms may occur anywhere from three to 30 days after being bitten.  After an infected tick bite, a widening red area may appear at the infected site that is clear in the center, forming a bullseye appearance.

Dr. Klein suggests that the best way to avoid contracting Lyme disease is to avoid direct contact with ticks.  You can do this by avoiding wooded and brushy areas, and high grass.  If you are hiking, try to walk in the center of the trails and wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. If in a wooded area you should use a strong repellent (with Deet).  Dr. Klein cautions that when using any repellent, you should avoid applying the solution to your hands, eyes and mouth.

Some of the tips to find and remove ticks from your body and clothing are:

  • perform a check of your entire body viewing under your arms, behind and in your ears, inside your navel, behind your knees, along your legs, waist and hair. Also, check your pet.
  • Take a shower soon after returning indoors. If you wash within two hours of returning indoors, the ticks are more easily found and washed off your body.
  • Once you are indoors, take your clothing and place them in the wash using hot water and then put them in the dryer on “high” for at least 10 minutes; if the clothes were washed in cold water, place them in the dryer on “high” for at least 90 minutes

If Lyme disease is left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body causing arthritis cardiac and nervous system problems.   Dr. Klein is one of the many qualified doctors specializing in Internal Medicine at Flushing Hospital Medical Center.  To schedule an appointment with him, or any of our other doctors, please call 718-670-5486.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How Do You Know When Your Cut Requires Emergency Care?

Doctors in hospital emergency departments see thousands of patients everyday who have suffered various degrees of skin penetrating wounds. While many of these patients do in fact require immediate medical attention, not all do. The issue is, many patients do not know what types of injuries warrant a visit to the Emergency Department and which do not.

GiglioDr. James Giglio Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Flushing Hospital Medical Center states “it’s tricky for patients to tell when cuts require medical attention. Many minor wounds heal without any professional intervention, but some require stiches or other types of treatment for proper healing. So how can you tell when to go to the E.R.?

 

According to Dr. Giglio, wounds almost always require a trip to local ER if they are:

  • Deep enough to expose the muscle, bone, or fatty tissue
  • Wide enough so that you can’t easily apply pressure to press the edges together
  • Located across a joint (fear of damaging nerves, tendons or ligaments)
  • The result of a bite (may require tetanus or tetanus treatment)
  • Caused by a dirty or rusty object
  • On the face or any other body part where scarring is a concern
  • Still bleeding after 15 minutes of direct pressure

Regardless of whether or not a wound requires a visit to the Emergency Department, the risk of infection increases the longer your wound remains open. Therefore immediate wound care is very important. Dr. Giglio states “It is best to gently clean the wound as soon as possible by irrigating it with thoroughly for a few minutes under tap water. You should also apply direct pressure to the wound and keep it elevated. This will slow or stop the bleeding.”

Thorough wound care is also very important to stave off infection. All wounds should be dressed with a topical antibiotic ointment and covered with a bandage. Doctors recommend reapplying ointment and changing your bandage two -three times daily for the first couple of days. If the healing wound gets wet, pat it dry and apply a dry bandage. Moist bandages delay healing and increase the risk of infection for most wounds. If you become concerned due to worsening pain, redness or swelling, contact your doctor immediately.

According to Dr. Giglio there are always exceptions to these rules. “The best advice I can give is if you are unsure about the severity of your injury, it is better to err on the side of caution and seek medical attention.”

Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Emergency Department is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and provides care for tens of thousands of patients every year. The doctors and staff in our Emergency Department can help you decide what level of treatment your wound requires.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.