September 12, 2014

Doctors are preparing for an early flu season

(Personally, I do not get flu shots, and I push & endorse clean eating and homeopathics! On this blog are many recipes for healthy smoothies, some help prevent colds, etc. ~PhyllisAdelle)

Columbia SC - WIS TV

It's not even halfway through September, but flu season may already be upon us.

Doctors say the peak of flu season doesn't normally hit until December, but people are coming down with the flu as early as now.

In the 2013-2014 flu season in South Carolina, almost 2,000 people were hospitalized because of the virus according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Doctors say they want to make sure you know when you have the flu and how to prevent from spreading it.

Some typical symptoms are a fever, cough, sore throat, and runny or stuffy nose. People with the flu can spread it to others up to about six feet away. Doctors think flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk.

Most healthy adults can infect other people beginning a day before symptoms develop and up to a week after becoming sick.

"The vaccine is going to be the best way to prevent the flu," said Doctor Jeremy Crisp from Lexington Family Practice. "The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of six months get a flu vaccine; that's going to be the number one way to prevent the flu. If you don't get the flu vaccine, certainly during flu season just sort of general healthy hygiene habits are going to be the best way to prevent getting it."

According to the CDC, the flu vaccine causes antibodies to develop in the body, which protects against infection, about two weeks after getting the shot. Doctor Crisp tells his patients, who say they got the flu from the flu vaccine, they likely contracted the virus days earlier.

"The flu vaccine is safe. That's an old wives tale that the flu vaccine gives you the flu. There are several types of flu vaccines on the market now. Most of the injectable forms of the flu vaccine are actually killed viruses; they're not using live viruses in that vaccine. So the flu vaccine cannot give you the flu," says Crisp.

The vaccine protects against Flu Type A, type B, and H1N1 or Swine Flu.

Crisp says activity from new strains have not popped up this year, and even though there is no prediction for how many will be affected by the flu, he hopes it will be a mild season.

He says the best way to prevent spreading the flu is to not go to work or anywhere you will have contact with a lot of people when you know you're sick. He says that's the fastest way the flu is spread.

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