Ken DeVellis is a physician at West Springfield’s Doctor’s Express.
Aside from getting the shot, he warns everyone can do one simple thing to avoid it. “A lot of the viral infections are spread person to person, hand to mouth. The best protection is hand washing,” he said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of people getting the flu this early is already rising fast.
“Last year was a very mild flu season, so I think any increase in that would definitely be harsher. Whether or not it’s any worse than flu seasons before remains to be seen” Dr. DeVellis stated.
Doctors say the flu survives best when the air is dry or when you get together with family over the holidays.
Dr. DeVellis says folks haven’t been rushing in to get their shots just yet. “We’ve given out a fair number of flu shots; I haven’t per se seen a rise in the incidence of patients with flu symptoms yet. There are a lot of people coming in with viral illness syndrome typical cold virus can mimic the same symptoms and it’s sometimes difficult to differentiate one from the other”
If you happen to be one of those already saddled with the flu, there might already be a remedy in your kitchen cabinet. “A hot toddy is probably good for anything. It’d probably make you feel better if you already had it,” Dr. DeVellis chuckled.
Of course, for young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with certain illnesses, getting a flu shot is the best bet.
Each flu season, up to 200,000 people are hospitalized.