With flu symptoms rising nationwide, here’s how to avoid the virus this season

Flu season is once again upon us, and has already claimed lives throughout the country.

Rommel Conclara speaks with a medical professional on the best ways to prevent the virus and shares treatments if you contract the flu.

Flu patients have already been lining up to get their vaccination shots.

However, according to the California Department of Public Health, more patients are being hospitalized for flu-like symptoms, some stores report a shortage of flu medicine, and already 27 flu-related deaths among patients under the age of 65.

 

Based on the latest flu report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, widespread flu activity has been reported in 46 states — in 26 states, including California, flu activity has been classified as “high.”

 

Family nurse practitioner Cristina Sprague of the South of Market health center in San Francisco promotes getting the flu shot.

Each year, doctors and scientists try to predict the different types of flu viruses and develop a vaccine to counter them.

“There a million of different strains. People are traveling everywhere and they’re getting different types of viral infections somewhere else. They might not get sick from it but when they bring it over here people can actually be susceptible.”

Studies have shown that those over the age of 65 are more vulnerable to the flu — however according to Sprague, getting them a flu shot can be challenging.

“They just say I’m just coughing. I don’t have a fever yet. I have a patient that got admitted for pneumonia because she lives alone. She coughs and doesn’t want to go to the doctor. Because we can actually prevent it if you come.

Here are some flu prevention tips:

– Avoid close contact with those who are sick.

– Get plenty of rest.

– Eat healthy food and drink plenty of fluids, like water and drinks containing Vitamin c.

– Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

– Cover your mouth when coughing.

“Coughing actually with your arm is better, because if you cough with your mouth and then you use your hand touching everything else without hand washing then that will reinfect you and your family or other people, like let’s say you’re taking public transportation.”

Finally, Sprague says only use hand sanitizer if there is no option to use soap and water.

She says the traditional act of washing your hands is one of the best ways to keep you and others around you safe from bacteria.

 

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