Monday, January 8, 2007
Medical Reports: Fight the Flu
We're just starting 2007, and already Florida's flu season is in full gear. Right now, our state is one of only three states across the country seeing widespread cases. But, there are things you can do to stay well. Seven's Christine Cruz shows us the best ways to Fight the Flu.
WSVN -- Fever, chills, body aches and pain. If you're among those feeling the symptoms, you're not alone. South Florida is under attack from the flu.
Dr. Islon Woolf: "The flu outbreak is earlier than normal. Usually, the flu peaks in February or March."
Mailyn Fernandez has already been a victim of the virus.
Mailyn Fernandez: "The flu was a horrible experience. Every place in my body ached. Places I didn't even know existed ached."
These are classic symptoms, but many people mistake the flu for a cold. So, you need to know the difference.
Flu symptoms usually come on quickly with fever, body aches, dry cough and fatigue. Cold symptoms are less severe, usually including a stuffy or runny nose and a cough.
Dr. Islon Woolf: "A very big difference is that the flu kills, and a cold doesn't."
Once you start experiencing flu symptoms, you have to act fast.
Doctors can now use this rapid test where they swab your nose, and within minutes you'll know if you have the flu.
You should then get started on an anti-viral medication like Tamiflu.
In fact, the Center for Disease Control now recommends taking an anti-viral medication if you've been around someone who has had the flu.
Dr. Islon Woolf: "The anti-viral medicines show a 90 percent rate of keeping you from getting the flu from someone else."
Of course, your best defense is a flu shot, and, unlike years past, this season doctors know for sure it's working.
Dr. Islon Woolf: "The CDC has taken samples of this year's flu, and they have found that the same strain of this year's is in the vaccine. So that means this year's vaccination will be effective."
Mailyn is willing to do anything she can to keep the flu from striking again.
Patient: "I have spoken to my doctor about preventing it in the future. I definitely don't want that again. Never."
Prevention is key, so make sure to wash your hands, and try to eat well and stay well-rested so your body can fight off the flu easier.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Track the Flu