Coughing, sneezing, and body aches – all signs of the flu.
The CDC says that so far this flu season, six to seven million people have been infected, and between 69,000 and 84,000 people have been hospitalized from the flu.
According to Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, 637 deaths from pneumonia and influenza have been reported since October.
“The flu is on an uptick here, but we haven’t got it yet to the widespread, what we’ve seen in the past, and partly that’s because, it appears at least at this point, that our flu shot is doing well,” said Justin Puckett, D. O., chief medical officer at Complete Family Medicine.
On its website, the CDC says it, “Continues to recommend flu vaccination as the best way to reduce the risk of flu and its potentially serious complications, including death in children.”
“If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, it’s not too late, head to the pharmacy, head to the doctor’s office, head to the county health department, wherever you can get that vaccine, and get your vaccine, because it seems to be having a good effect this year at preventing the flu,” Puckett explained.
Washing your hands, avoiding those who are sick, and not touching your eyes, nose, and mouth can help to prevent germs from spreading.
But if you do find yourself sick with the flu, Puckett says a trip to the doctor’s office can provide some relief.
“A test is simply done with a nose swab, and we can know within a few minutes if you test positive for the flu or not,” Puckett said. “If we catch it early in the disease process, then using those medications can shorten the duration of the illness, and maybe even keep some of the more vulnerable, especially some of the younger and older out of the hospital.”