Flu season arrives early this year
Hot Springs, Va. –
Flu season has already arrived, but you can take precautions to help protect yourself and those around you. Kyna Moore is the Director of Nursing at Bath Community Hospital. She’s also currently serving as the hospital’s Infection Control Nurse.
“Flu is here,” says Moore. “Usually the CDC or each area expects the flu season to arrive at different times, so you can kind of predict it. In Bath County we tend to see it a little bit after Christmas or early spring, February, March. But it has arrived early and with vengeance.”
Flu symptoms include many of the same symptoms as the common cold, such as headache, chills, coughing, sneezing and fever. But the symptoms are much more severe with the flu. And children can also experience nausea and vomiting with the flu.
“We currently have twelve confirmed cases of flu in Bath County,” says Moore. “Of those twelve confirmed cases we’ve seen both influenza A and an influenza B. We have had some people hospitalized from flu symptoms, because it seems to be making people very sick this year. I know the CDC has had extreme concerns, because it’s arrived so early across the country. They’re expecting to see a lot more complications and a lot more issues with the flu.”
If you get the flu be aware that you can develop a secondary infection, such as pneumonia. If you have the flu and start to get better for a couple of days but then feel worse again, see your doctor.
“We tend to look at the flu sometimes and think Gee, flu doesn’t matter. It’s the flu. Everybody will get the flu,’ says Moore. “But flu is still one of the leading causes of complications particularly in the elderly, very young children, diabetics, people with chronic disease or people who are immunosuppressed, maybe from chemotherapy or from other diseases or medications. And it can cause a lot of complications from that.”
Getting a flu shot is the best precaution you can take against the flu.
“And people are reluctant to get the flu shot, because they say, Well I got the flu,’ says Moore. “You know, the flu shot takes two to three weeks to actually develop your immunity. And if you’ve been exposed to the flu during those two to three weeks you very may well get the flu, but it will be milder during that period of time if you’ve been exposed and have had a flu shot.”
In addition to getting the flu shot Moore suggests getting plenty of rest, drinking plenty of fluids, eating a healthy diet, staying away from people who are sick or have symptoms such as coughing and sneezing. She also suggests wiping down surfaces you touch in public places, such as grocery cart handles.
Moore says if you develop symptoms you should see your doctor, especially if you have a fever greater than 100.5.