Dr. Ron Skaria with Covenant Medical Group says this year the flu’s is hard hitting.
“People get really knocked out with this flu, there’s a lot of fatigue,” he said.that’s because this year’s flu shot is highly ineffective leading to a 7% increase in positive flu tests at Covenant clinics and hospitals in just one week.
“The flu shot was meant for the H1N1 strand of the virus and we’ve seen some H3N2 according to the reports as a predominate strain, so the flu shot is anywhere from 10 to 20 percent effective this year.”
Despite the low percentage, Dr. Skaria said getting the flu shot is the best way to protect your family saying the shot could lessen the severity and duration of the flu.
‘The best way to prevent flu in the household is for everyone to have their flu shot and use common sense measures like good hand washing and avoiding people who are sneezing and coughing.”
If you’re the one sneezing or coughing he said to make sure you cover your mouth around other to prevent from spreading the flu.
“If you have flu-like symptoms or you’re diagnosed with the flu you are contagious for up to one day after you have symptoms, so that typically runs five to six days.”
If that’s the case, he says get a doctors note and stay home.
“Staying healthy is a combination of making sure you’re well hydrated, making sure you go see your doctor early if you have any other illnesses going on and then get sick on top of that.”
Dr. Skaria added taking zinc three times a week can help stop the spread of viruses, as well as proper hand washing.
Children can start getting their flu shot at 6 months of age. If they’re younger than that Dr. Skaria says to be sure to take precautions and avoid people who’ve had flu-like symptoms.