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Patients Rush Springfield’s Doctor’s Express for Flu Shots

fluSPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) -At this point in the season, it’s a wonder that Dr. Yarima Santiago hasn’t gotten sick herself since it seems like everyone else with the flu has been coming to see her. “It’s been a huge rush. Pretty much just the last few weeks have been fevers, coughs, colds, just ruling out the flu. So often times we do test for the flu just to confirm it,” she said.

Dr. Santiago has already gotten her shot, but at Springfield’s Doctor’s Express, the doors have not stopped revolving with patients trying to get their flu shots.

The Centers for Disease Control has been urging everyone to get their flu shots since they predicted that the season would hit us harder and earlier than usual this year, and it has.  The peak is usually not until February or March.

Those of you sick in bed with it might want to think twice before heading back to work. “Those people who are coming in are doing a good thing, so hopefully they can stay home and prevent transmission to other people. Flu spreads through droplet transmission, so these are things that fall within a few feet of the person, it does last on surfaces for several hours though, so you have to be very vigilant,” Dr. Santiago adds.

For those most susceptible to getting the flu, Dr. Santiago points out a variety of options. “For the immunosuppressed, the elderly, or infants, you can see lots of complications afterwards, you can see pneumonias, I’ve seen a lot of people come in with ear infections after the flu, sinus infections, and pneumonia is one of the more deadly complications, and all the more reason to get a flu shot.”

For anyone already saddled with the aches and pains of the flu Dr. Santiago prescribes plenty of fluids, frequent hand-washing, or hand sanitizing, and bed rest. This time last year, there were only 17 lab-confirmed cases of the flu in Western Mass, and just over 150 statewide. As of Friday, those numbers were up to 313, and 6,026, respectively.

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