Morning Rounds: Fighting the flu

Posted at 10:31 AM, Dec 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-06 10:31:15-05

News 3 is taking action for your health to make sure you're prepared for flu season.

Our medical expert, Dr. Ryan Light with TPMG at Greenbrier Family Medicine, stopped by News 3 This Morning to talk about how to avoid getting the flu and what to do if you or a family member does become sick.

  • Get the flu shot
    • Although there are reports that the vaccine is only 10 percent effective, Dr. Light says you should still get your annual flu shot. The limited effectiveness was due to a mutation that occurred in the influenza A (H3N2) vaccine strain. The vaccine is made up of multiple flu strains and other strains will likely provide excellent protection. According to Dr. Light, even though the vaccine has limited effectiveness against H3N2, it will still prevent hospitalization and death caused by the viruses.
  • Practice good habits
    • The single best prevention is a flu shot annually, but good health habits can help stop the spread of germs.
      • Avoid close contact
      • Stay home when you are sick
      • Cover your mouth and nose
      • Wash your hands
      • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
      • Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly
  • Take extra steps if a family member becomes sick.
    • Clean and frequently disinfect surfaces in your home
    • Get plenty of sleep
    • Be physically active.
    • Manage your stress
    • Drink plenty of fluids (water is the best)
    • Eat a healthy diet
  • Treating the flu
    • Most people with the flu have a mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. You should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. CDC also recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. Your fever should be gone without the use of medicine.
    • Make sure you:
      • Get plenty of rest
      • Stay well hydrated
    • You can use medications to treat symptoms (acetaminophen for fever and body ache, anti-inflammatory for pain relief, cough medicine for a cough, throat lozenges for a sore throat and decongestants for nasal congestion)