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What’s going around: Time to get your flu shot

(WKOW) — Flu season is underway, and while it hasn’t made a big impact in our area yet, doctors think it could only be a matter of time.

Dr. Joanna Bisgrove is a family medicine physician at SSM Health in Oregon.  She highly recommended the flu shot for people over six-months-old with the exception of people with compromised immune systems. Pregnant women are encouraged to get their flu shot.

“The Center for Disease Control, or CDC, particularly recommends the flu vaccine for anyone who is at high risk for developing severe flu-related complications such as pneumonia, flares of their chronic health conditions, and sometimes even death.  Those at high risk include anyone over the age of 65 or under the age of 5 (particularly under the age of 2), those with chronic health conditions such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes, and pregnant women.” says Dr. Bisgrove.  “A study conducted by the CDC showed that healthy children who get the flu shot yearly are 66% less likely to die from the flu and children with chronic health conditions who get the flu shot yearly are 51% less likely to die.”

Dr. Bisgrove listed the following as symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Headache
  • Body aches

In order to treat the flu, Dr. Bisgrove said it’s best to start with the symptoms.  Take acetaminophen to control aches and fever.  Talk to your provider about anti-viral medications; these are effective in severe cases of the flu if taken within the first two days of symptoms.  Otherwise get plenty of rest, and drink plenty of fluids.

Dr. Bisgrove stressed the best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu shot.  She said now is the best time to do it because it takes two weeks to kick in.  This year’s flu season is supposed to be particularly bad.

The flu typically lasts three days to a week, according to Dr. Bisgrove, but coughing and weakness can last up to two weeks. Serious complications like pneumonia can develop if the flu is not treated properly.

Caroline Bach

Anchor, 27 News at 11

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