WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Viral syndrome is a term caregivers use for general symptoms of a viral infection that has no clear cause. Viruses are spread easily from person to person through the air and on shared items.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
- Antipyretics: These reduce fever.
- Antihistamines: These help relieve a rash, itching, and trouble breathing.
- Decongestants: These decrease a stuffy nose so that you can breathe more easily.
- Antitussives: These control a cough.
- Antiviral medicine: These help kill the virus and control your symptoms.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Ask if you should drink oral rehydration solution (ORS). An ORS has the right amounts of water, salts, and sugar you need to replace body fluids. This may help prevent dehydration.
You can spread a virus to other people weeks after your symptoms go away. The following are ways to prevent the spread of a virus:
- Wash your hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based gel. Wash your hands after you touch someone who is sick.
- Wear a mask: A mask can help you prevent the spread of a virus. If you need to wear a mask, ask your primary healthcare provider where to get one.
- Cook and handle food properly: Cook food completely through. Clean surfaces where food is prepared with a disinfectant cleaner.
Ask about vaccinations:
Your primary healthcare provider may suggest the following vaccines:
- Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine: This vaccine is also called MPV. The vaccine helps prevent certain types of meningococcal disease. The MPV usually is given to adults age 56 years old and older who are at high risk for the disease.
- Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine: This vaccine is also called PPV. It helps prevent pneumococcal disease, such as pneumonia. Adults ages 65 years and older should get the vaccine. People who are at higher risk for pneumococcal disease also may need the vaccine.
- Influenza vaccine: This vaccine helps prevent influenza (flu). Everyone older than age 6 months should get a yearly influenza vaccine. Get the vaccine as soon as it is available, usually in October or November each year.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have thick drainage or pus coming out of 1 or both nostrils and pain in one side of your face.
- You have a fever and pain.
- You have green sputum.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You have continued vomiting and diarrhea.
- You have chest pain or trouble breathing.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.