Amba, left, and Mikaela Harrip with their mum, Kathy at Priceline, Windmill Centre.
Amba, left, and Mikaela Harrip with their mum, Kathy at Priceline, Windmill Centre.

Gladstone residents ready for flu

SNIFFLES and sneezes are evident across the Gladstone region, with reports of children being sent home from school yesterday.

Even the Gladstone Australian Red Cross Blood Bank at the hospital has turned potential donors away due to colds and influenza, leaving Gladstone region residents heading for their beds, boxes of tissues and medicine cabinets.

Priceline Windmill Centre Pharmacist Rod Dixon said there were many people coming in with colds and flus.

“It doesn’t seem to have stopped,” he said.

“We’ve had a lot over the summer. Mostly adults and a few children with sniffles.”

Kathy Harrip, who was in the pharmacy with twin daughters Amba and Mikaela, said there were many children who had been sent home from Faith Baptist Christian School yesterday and some were vomiting.

Ms Harrip said when her daughters got sick; she usually brought them to the chemist to get advice from the pharmacist.

She said last time they had a cold, they got Dematab and Panadol, and of course, plenty of hugs.

“When our throats are sore, she gives us Butter-Menthols,” Mikaela said.

Amba said she liked the Dematab, but didn’t like the Panadol.

“They don’t tend to eat when they are sick,” Ms Harrip said.

“I make sure they drink lots of fluids.”

“I love spaghetti on toast,” Amba said.

Mr Dixon said he usually recommended cold and flu tablets to help relieve symptoms, as well as Vitamin C.

“I’m a firm believer in Vitamin C,” he said.

“There’s a lot of controversy over that one.”

Port Curtis Medical Centre’s Dr Colan McGree said he did not recommend vitamins for people.

“There is no evidence that supplements are superior to dietary,” he said.

Dr McGree said for those who have unavoidable unhealthy diets, multi-vitamins would be good, however one meal a day of meat and vegetables, as well as at least one fruit, should provide vitamins needed for the body to combat colds.

He urged people who were very sick, so much they couldn’t function, for more than 48 hours, to visit a doctor.

Dr McGree said the cold usually left people feeling lousy for 48 hours, with a temperature under 38 degrees, but anything higher than that could mean influenza or a secondary bacterial infection.

“I urge people to stay home for a few days and out of public places, to stop the spreading of germs,” he said.

“A lot of people have had flu needles.

“I haven’t seen a second year of swine flu down south, so at this stage I’m not expecting swine to be a problem.”

He said the swine flu had been a little bit different as some people had respiratory symptoms on the onset and some didn’t have a high temperature.

“I don’t know if the swine flu is going to hit,” Mr Dixon said.

“The experts say we are going to get some more, but I don’t think so.”

Dr McGree urged people to get flu needles, regardless of lack of history.

“I’ve got several people from previous influenza epidemics that haven’t gone back to their usual job,” he said.

Dr McGree said both had epileptic seizures when they were sick with influenza, having no history prior to the illness, and one still had seizures.

He said other people had suffered heart attacks and strokes.

Symptoms

Colds

Sneezing.

Fever under 38 degrees.

Runny nose.

Nasal congestion.

Sore throat.

Cough.

Influenza

Sudden onset of temperature over 39 degrees.

Headache.

Fatigue.

Then followed by coughing and other cold symptoms.

Treatments

For colds

Dr says Panadol and cold and flu tablets don’t affect the course of the virus, only relieve symptoms.

Pharmacist recommends cold and flu tablets and Panadol.

Dr recommends putting more clothes on, and even sweating out the cold.

Echinacea.

For influenza

Seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

Medicine within 72 hours is effective, but doctors prefer patients start taking medication 36 to 48 hours after onset.

Preventions

Prevention of aerosols with masks or handkerchiefs.

Staying away from other people.

Handwashing is highly important.

Influenza vaccinations.

Pharmacist recommends if you feel onset of symptoms, start on Vitamin C straight away.

Bugs this season

Influenza.

Swine flu.

Rhinovirus – causes common cold.

Pneumonia.



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