Cases of the seasonal flu have reached high levels across the country. More than 144 million doses of the flu vaccine have been distributed this year. The CDC says it's not too late to get vaccinated. However if you of your child is sick now, what do you do?
Doctors in the area say this a widespread epidemic and they don't think it will go away anytime soon.
Doctor Jonathan Kerley said it’s officially flu season. Patients are coming in to the Fast Access Healthcare locations looking for relief. “Body aches, fever, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue. Few GI complaints, nauseous vomiting, diarrhea.”
He encourages you to go to your physician if you have flu-like symptoms. Getting tested is simple. “Goes in the nose, we swab, and run a quick test. The results take 5-10 minutes.”
If the test comes back positive, an anti-viral drug will do the trick. Tamiflu also works. “It has to be initiated within the first 48 hours of symptom onset for it to be effective. It does not get rid of but it slows it down.”
But he warns patients that there are other illnesses going around and it is important to diagnose your condition specifically. “Bacterial process not always a viral. So it could be strep or other common things we are seeing now.”
He said common sense sometimes can be the best medicine to prevent germs from spreading. “Cover that cough. Use a mask. Cough into arm, definitely not your hand and then grab a doorknob or shopping cart.”
Grandma's old fashion remedies can also help you recover quickly. “Stay hydrated, get rest, and take your multi vitamin.”
His most important suggestion, is stay home and get plenty of rest. “If we are treating patients we start medicine on the family if close contact.”
The flu season can last until late May and usually ends with unsuspecting and unvaccinated people getting hit the hardest.