Flu cases increasing in Hampton Roads

Posted at 3:08 PM, Mar 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-07 17:26:28-05

Virginia Beach, Va. (WTKR) - Doctors in Hampton Roads say they are seeing more cases of the flu appearing in the region.

The most recent CDC Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report lists both Virginia and North Carolina as having widespread flu activity.

How to tell if you have the flu.

Dr. Joseph LePage, Medical Director and Physician Trainer at Patient First on General Booth Boulevard in Virginia Beach, has seen more folks test positive for the flu.

"We had not been seeing many cases in a couple of months and then just recently in the past couple of weeks we’ve seen an upswing in the number of cases," Dr. LePage told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo Monday.

Dr. LePage says a flu shot is still a good way to prevent getting sick since this year's strain appears to be a good match with it.

Patient First offers the following advice to avoid getting sick:

  1. Wash Your Hands – This is the single most important way to stop the spread of colds and flu.  According to the CDC, about 80% of infectious diseases are spread through touch alone. Scrub with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol is a good substitute if soap and water are not available.

  2. Cover-Up When You Sneeze and Cough - Many of us were taught to cover our mouths and noses with our hands when sneezing and coughing.  However, a better option is to use the crook of your elbow or a tissue when available. This way the germs will not get onto your hands and spread through contact with others.

  3. Disinfect - Cold and flu germs can live on surfaces for hours. Disinfecting items like remote controls, doorknobs, table tops, keyboards, phones, and toys can kill the germs and stop them from spreading.

  4. Don’t Share Your Germs - Take steps to stop the spread of colds and flu at home and work.  Stay home from work when you know you are sick. The same goes for sending sick children to school.  Keep them home. If you have the flu, be sure to stay home until you have been fever-free without medicine for at least 24 hours to avoid making others sick

  5. Live Healthy - Help yourself win the battle of the bug by eating healthy, getting a good night sleep, exercising, and reducing stress.  These things can help strengthen your immune system and potentially make your body more capable of fighting a cold or virus.