The Everett Clinic Urgent care providers continue to see very high numbers of patients testing positive for influenza A. However, we may have seen the peak of the 2018-2019 outbreak. The number of patients testing positive and the percent positive test rate dropped slightly last week. The number of patients seen in the Walk-In Clinic also dropped slightly last week.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long are patients with influenza contagious?
Patients with influenza are the most contagious one day before symptom onset and while they have fevers and chills. Most adults are contagious with acute influenza for around five days. Antivirals can shorten the length of viral shedding. Infants can shed virus much longer and have usually much higher viral loads compared to adults. Infants with influenza can be contagious for seven days or even longer.
The CDC has the following recommendations regarding return to work.
The CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the need to use fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol®. Until then, you should stay home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings. The CDC also recommends that children and teenagers (anyone aged 18 years and younger) who have flu or are suspected to have flu should not be given Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) or any salicylate-containing products (e.g. Pepto Bismol®); these products can cause a rare, very serious complication called Reye’s syndrome. More information about Reye’s syndrome.
What should I do while I’m sick?
Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. If you must leave home, to get medical care, wear a facemask if you have one, or cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Wash your hands often to keep from spreading flu to others.