face masks to prevent flu

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by lenarenee, Jan 17, 2018.

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  1. Jan 17, 2018 #1

    lenarenee

    lenarenee

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    I'm hoping one of our medical members will be able to answer this; I'm in S Ca where flu is so prevelant even the roads are clearer due to number of people who are home sick! And I'm terrified of catching this - any virus seems to give me more mucous issues than the average person.

    It's probably just a matter of time before our 5th grader comes home with it, so I want to get stocked up on tissues and other supplies. What facial mask is rated for virus?
     
  2. Jan 17, 2018 #2

    saratk

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    Well, I can't recommend a facial mask but do heartily sing the praises of homemade elderberry syrup and thyme syrup. Both have kept my family in the clear for years. Whenever we do start to feel something coming along, we quadruple down on both of those (along with sautéed garlic, maybe a strong nettle infusion, soup) and are always able to kick the bug within a day or so, as opposed to a regular run of up to 9 day.
    Good luck!
     
  3. Jan 17, 2018 #3

    dixiedragon

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    Geez, scary. I need to go get my vaccine! I don't think any face masks are rated for viruses (not a medical person though).
     
  4. Jan 17, 2018 #4

    jules92207

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    My kids and hubby all got the shot and so did my nephew and he still came down with the flu. I’m hoping it skips our house but they hang with the nephew after school so I’m not very hopeful.
     
  5. Jan 17, 2018 #5

    jewels621

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    Do whatever you can to prevent it! I just now feel better after 5 weeks (!) of misery.
     
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  6. Jan 17, 2018 #6

    SaltedFig

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  7. Jan 17, 2018 #7

    bathgeek

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    As someone who gets bronchitis if I do much as catch a sniffle, I have to say that getting a flu shot helped a TON even as I was sick! If you haven’t gotten one, go get it quick.
     
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  8. Jan 17, 2018 #8

    earlene

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    That's a good reference, SaltedFig, and yes, it is still pertinent.

    Lenarenee
    , if the CDC document is too technical or complex, try this link which may be easier for the layperson: https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/mask#3

    So, basically they conclude that a regular facemask can provide some protection, while an N95 respirator provides more. The downside to the N95 respirator is it really needs to be fitted properly to be effective and the cost, of course. But the N95 protects against small particles as well as large particles when fitted properly, so well worth the cost if you are highly susceptible.

    Here is a video on how to properly fit the N95 respirator:

    https://youtu.be/05wyH1-mLGk


    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Jan 17, 2018 #9

    dixiedragon

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    BTW, "The Spanish Flu: America's Forgotten Pandemic" is an EXCELLENT read. By Alfred Crosby.

    Maybe read it after flu season, though.

    This was from 1917-1919. By his estimates, as many as 100 million people died worldwide. There are few accurate figures because at that time in the US, doctors were not required to report flu cases. (They are now, because of this pandemic.) Also, WWI was going on, which meant lots of censorship, so newspapers in warring countries (basically all of Europe) did not report disease outbreaks.
     
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  10. Jan 17, 2018 #10

    DeeAnna

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    Flu shot is good -- even if it's not for the specific virus you might be exposed to, it can help reduce the severity if you come down with the flu.

    Elderberry syrup as an antiviral. It really helps for colds and flu. Take 1 teaspoon 2-3 times a day as a preventative. Once you get sick, take 1 teaspoon every 2-3 hours. It's better to take a little bit fairly often than take a larger dose less often. It won't make you instantly well, but it lessens the severity of the symptoms and shortens the time you're seriously sick.

    If you have just the plain elderberry juice, it can taste a little odd. You can make an easy sweetened syrup out of the juice. The syrup is more palatable -- even my DH likes it. He can sometimes be awfully fussy about food when he's sick.
     
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  11. Jan 17, 2018 #11

    navigator9

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    You mention you have mucous issues. I swear by Mucinex, even the store brand works just as well. I start taking it as soon as I feel myself getting sick, and I also drink tons of water. I have asthma, and can run into trouble if I end up with bronchitis, so heading it off is my strategy, and Mucinex and lots of water, work for me.
     
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  12. Jan 18, 2018 #12

    Karens62

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    I’ve got some suggestions.

    Washing your hands frequently is more effective that any mask will be. Chances are by the time your child comes home with symptoms, you’re already exposed. Any time you leave the house, wash your hands when you come back and get everyone in the family to as well. And this means more that a lick and spit job. You should wash them with soap for as long as it takes to sing the happy birthday song.

    Wash them again before you’re going to eat or touch your face and after handling any time of mucous (i.e. a kiddo’s used tissue).

    If you’re really concerned, every day wipe down with Clorox wipes the surfaces that are touched by hands like doorknobs, refrigerator handles, remotes, toilet flusher knobs (not sure of the officially name) and, lastly, drink lots of fluids and get sleep. Well hydrated mucous membranes are your body’s first line of defense.

    Stay healthy!
     
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  13. Jan 18, 2018 #13

    Susie

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    Unfortunately the current influenza outbreak was not one we got the vaccine for. They are estimating it is about 30% effective.

    Handwashing is your friend. Keeping your (not yet clean) hands away from your fact is great. But once your child has the sore throat that is the warning sign, you have already been exposed. Then they are contagious until the fever is gone completely.
     
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  14. Jan 18, 2018 #14

    mx6inpenn

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    I gotta say, this stuff is miserable. Kid #3 is sick with it now. He's been asleep for most of the last 4 days. The first 2 that had it both developed ear infections on top of the flu. Its taken 2 weeks for my 5 yo to finally start feeling close to normal, but she's still much more tired than normal. My baby (3 yo) is on the upswing finally, but its slow going!

    Knocking on wood I continue the trend of not catching it.

    As already mentioned, hand washing is key!!
     
  15. Jan 18, 2018 #15

    DeeAnna

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    And don't touch your face with your fingers between handwashing, especially eyes and nose. It's hard to learn, but it really helps.
     
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  16. Jan 18, 2018 #16

    Susie

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    When my children were school age, we lived with my parents, as I was a single mom, and my dad needed help taking care of my mother, so the two of us took care of everyone else. My mother had cancer, and was undergoing chemotherapy. So she could NOT be exposed to sick children. We played the "keep your germs to yourself" game with the kids. They had certain rooms (their bedrooms, front bathroom, living room) they were allowed to be touching everything without worrying, then certain rooms (kitchen) they had to use Clorox wipes to clean anything they touched. My dad and I washed hands every time we passed through the kitchen to go from the kid area to my mom's area (my parent's bedroom and the den). We did this for several years successfully without my mom catching anything from the kids. So it can be done. It just takes scrupulous attention to hand washing and wiping shared surfaces.
     
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  17. Jan 18, 2018 #17

    SunRiseArts

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    I have not have the flu in over 12 years, and I have never taken the flu shot.

    I can recommend taking lots of Vitamin C. I make my own, this way: ' Any organic orange or lemon peels left over from the fruit you buy will do the trick. Save all of your peels after you eat the inside of the fruit and cut them into thin strips. Place them on a plate on your dining room table and let them dry at room temperature for a couple of days until dry and crisp. You can also dehydrate the peels with a food dehydrator and then store them for about a year in a dry container. For consumption, one idea is to break up peels into smaller pieces and mix them with your favorite tea. This makes the tea taste great, but the downside to this approach is that heat destroys the enzymes.'

    Personally I pulverize them, and sprinkle them in my food.

    Find the instructions at organic lifetime magazine (dot) com.

    If you feel the flu coming, I swear by 1 cup hot water, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 2 tablespoon of honey, cinnamon, and a dash of lemon juice.
     
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  18. Jan 20, 2018 #18

    Lin19687

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    Flu shot is useless.
    Even IF they had the right strain in it (which they can't ever get due to it changing all the time) it is ONLY 35% effective.


    You are better off just washing your hands all the time if you go out.
    When kids come home wash them (yeah all of them haha) and spray everything they touch before You touch it. Lysol 99.9% helps they say but I don't use chemicals .

    Can;t really help with being sneezed on, a mask MAY help, but you are more likely to get it from touching infected things.

    7 years working in an ER and I have NEVER got the FLU. I don't ever get the shot either. Just watch what you are doing and wash wash wash.
     
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  19. Jan 20, 2018 #19

    shunt2011

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    I have worked in and with the ER for 39 years. We are required to get the flu shot with the exception of allergy or religious reasons. If not compliant all are subject to Administrative leave. If someone doesn’t get the flu shot they are required to wear a mask throughout the flu season and residents cannot do rotations at other facilities which will in turn affect their training. The flu shot at the very least lessens the effect should you get it. I’d rather have some protection then none personally.
     
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  20. Jan 20, 2018 #20

    lenarenee

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    I really appreciate everyone's input - thank you all so much!!

    I always get a flu shot; I work with kids! Our little one may be 10 years old now, but when she's sick in bed - she has to have someone to snuggle with and guess who gets to do that? (I'm actually not complaining; she thanks me for every sip of water, every tissue and every snuggle)

    San Diego county has been really slammed with flu - the H3N3 is the most prominent and most dangerous and hospitals have been using tents for patients since mid December. I know too many middle aged people who've been hospitalized and fighting for their life.

    At only 10 bucks a box, I went ahead and ordered disposable face masks. Viruses are tiny and virus droplets are aerosolized so I know they won't offer much protection but I'll take it.

    I used to use Elderberry years ago (Sambucol, the standardized extract) and saw absolutely no benefit from it. I didn't find any supportive studies on it either.

    No one mentioned Halo spray. I've used that for 7 years to help keep illness away and I swear it drastically reduced the amount of colds and other viruses I got - despite being around kids. I quit using it a couple years ago; the kids I care for are older and better at hygiene! But I'm using it again because this flu has me scared.
     

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