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Common Flu Questions

Health-FluSPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Medical professionals around western Massachusetts are dealing with an increase in flu cases this season.

Dr. Yarima Santiago with Doctors Express on Cooley St. helped answer some of the most common questions surrounding the virus.

“What is the single most important thing to do?

“Stay home, stay home. Do not go out and spread this to other people in the community,” said Dr. Yarima.

She explains the flu is different from a common cold.

“It’s slightly different than a cold in that a cold comes on a little bit more gradually. You can usually function more, but when you have the flu you really wanna just stay in bed and you don’t have the energy to get out of bed,” said Dr. Yarima.

Resting, using over the counter medications and having plenty of fluids are the best ways to treat the virus, according to Yarima.  Tamiflu is often prescribed in some cases.

People are also encouraged to call their doctor instead of going to the office or emergency room where they could further spread the virus.

“When do I know I can go back to work?”

“I usually tell people if their fever has been gone for 24 hours they can go back to work,” said Dr. Yamira.

The same applies for when the kids can head back to class.

Schools themselves are working to keep their buildings safe from germs.

The West Springfield School Department sanitizes high touchable surfaces all year long to stop the spread of germs.  High touch surfaces include door handles, door plates, bathroom fixtures, water fountains and desks.

“We wanna make sure we keep the whole student body as safe and healthy as possible,” said Dr. Russell Johnston, West Springfield Superintendent of Schools.

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