Health Tips To Get Through Flu Season

December 31, 2012

Dec. 31, 2012                        David Lawrence

Tomorrow we usher in a New Year and along with it we’ll also see a new flu season. And already health officials say the U.S. is having its earliest start in nearly a decade and that this season could be a bad one.

The best way to prevent getting the flu, says Dr. David Lawrence, director of the CU-Boulder Wardenburg Health Center, is to get a flu vaccine shot right now.

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Health Tips To Get Through Flu Season

Dec. 31, 2012                        David Lawrence

Tomorrow we usher in a New Year and along with it we’ll also see a new flu season. And already health officials say the U.S. is having its earliest start in nearly a decade and that this season could be a bad one.

The best way to prevent getting the flu, says Dr. David Lawrence, director of the CU-Boulder Wardenburg Health Center, is to get a flu vaccine shot right now.

 CUT 1 “There’s not actually too many things to do to prevent it. There’s one, it’s far from perfect, but it works so much better than anything else and that’s an influenza vaccination. (:09) It’s a shot that we need to get every year because the virus mutates over time. Previous years vaccines don’t protect against next year’s circulating strains. (:20)

The primary strain this season is the H3N2, an influenza A virus that has been associated in the past with more severe flu seasons. Dr. Lawrence says washing your hands and keeping at least a 3-foot distance from anyone with a cough could also help you avoid the flu virus.

CUT 2 “Influenza is spread from person to person generally by coughing. It can be spread – we talk about contaminated hands, that’s one way -- but the predominant way is from the droplets that form when we cough.” (:14)

If you have the flu and must leave your house, Dr. Lawrence says, once again, the 3-foot distance rule applies as does covering your mouth with your sleeve when you cough.

CUT 3 “For people who do have it if they can keep distance from people – 3 feet or more – they are less likely to spread it to people. If they could cover their mouths with their sleeve and cough into their sleeve, that helps to keep the droplets from spreading.” (:15)

Dr. Lawrence says the flu usually peaks in midwinter. Symptoms can include high fever, cough, runny nose, head and body aches and fatigue. Some people also develop pneumonia or other severe complications. He says once you get the flu there’s not lot to do but take over the counter medicines and get rest.

CT 4 (630) “Most people won’t take anything they’ll just treat their symptoms. -- take something for their fever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, something for their cough and stay in bed.” (:11)

He says there is one prescribed medicine called Tamiflu that seems to lesson the duration and severity of the flu if taken within the first two days after symptoms start.

-CU-

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