What to do if you think you have the flu during the holidays

How to prevent the spread of the flu this holiday season.
How to prevent the spread of the flu this holiday season.(WDAM Staff)
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 7:26 PM CST
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) -While you are passing food around the Thanksgiving table, you could also be sharing something else.

Flu season typically peaks between December and February according to the CDC, but Dr. Anita Henderson of the Hattiesburg Clinic said doctors started seeing an increase in flu patients as early as September.

“What we are seeing right now is primarily Flu A and it is a good match with the flu vaccine we have been giving,” said Henderson. “We have seen in our clinic, families who everyone has gotten the flu except the one person who got their shot.”

Flu symptoms may include high fever, body aches, severe sore throat and sometimes nausea, whereas a cough, congestion or a low-grade fever might mean you are experiencing the common cold.

However, Henderson said there are some at-home treatments to help your symptoms.

“One of the biggest things is of course the fever reducer, so that’s ibuprofen and acetaminophen. And one of the things we have to remember in children, is we dose those medications based on their weight and not their age,” said Henderson. “Oftentimes, we have people who come in whose fever won’t go away and we talk about the amount they are giving, they may be under-dosing their children.”

Henderson says if you think you have the flu, you should try to avoid a trip to the ER unless you are experiencing severe symptoms.

“Dehydration is one of the biggest things that happens that requires an emergency room visit or secondary complications like pneumonia,” said Henderson. “If you or your child have significant shortness of breath, breathing hard or fast, not avoiding having a dry mouth, confusion things like that are indications to go ahead and get evaluated.”

According to Dr. Henderson, people who don’t have the flu shot may experience symptoms for up to seven days.

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