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Ask the Experts: Protecting yourself against the flu
Updated: Friday, January 3 2014, 11:16 AM EST
CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- Just as the holiday vacations end and kids go back in school, be prepared for a few more days off, as the flu begins to spread rapidly in the Tri-State. We ask the experts at TriHealth what you can do to try and protect against it, in our Medical Edge.
Been a busy few days already this week for pharmacists such as Marla Irvin. She's been filling prescriptions for those who get in to the doctors office right away with the flu and need to find relief from its symptoms."It's mostly the head and chest congestion, the coughing, and just feeling really fatigued and lousy."
The colder weather keeps us inside in close contact. In the last week or so, doctors offices and emergency rooms have been filling up with patients who have what appears to be two different illnesses spreading rapidly. "One that is the flu and another one that looks a lot like it but actually tests negative", says Dr. Scott Woods, of Bethesda Family Medicine.
If you think someone close to you has the flu or this virus, you can do a couple of things. "One, if you are around anyone that is coughing and showing symptoms, keep some distance from those people. Number two, wash your hands often, three or four times at a minimum. But most importantly, keep your own hands off your own face."
Doctor Woods says most of the people he's seen with the flu are those who did not get this year's vaccine. That means, he says, the next three or four weeks, this could continue to spread, which means a lot of people around you are going to have the flu. What should you do if you don't want to get the flu? Well in addition to his suggestions, a recent report found there are three or four steps you can do to try and boost your own immunity.
It appears those who sleep more, eat more produce, exercise regularly and stay well hydrated have better odds of staying well. Since the flu is already spreading rapidly, "the next four weeks could be really bad, both at school, school closings, kids home from school and spreading it too their parents, viruses passing through a whole family at home."
So much to look forward to. Peak season for the flu is January to March and it's not too late to get a flu shot. If you'd like to ask what's going around or anything else to a provider at Trihealth by going to Local12.com.