Separating flu fact from fiction
Thu, 17 Jan 2013 18:01:17 GMT —
The bad flu season has everyone talking, but there's a lot of bad advice out there and it can be touch and go to separate the facts from myths.
"This year we're seeing a lot of flu cases by there are a lot of other viruses that do the same thing or give you the same symptoms of the flu, but they're just not the flu. So we're seeing a lot of upper respiratory illness. In addition we're seeing a lot of G-I illnesses,â?? says Dr. Stuart Brilliant, a flu expert and emergency room chief.
Dr. Brilliant says on a daily basis at least 35 to 40 patients who check into the emergency room have the flu.
The Centers for Disease Control says this season, the flu arrived much earlier than in years past. Even people who prepared early to combat the deadly sickness are developing influenza.
Dr. Brilliant says that around 60 to 65 percent of people are covered by the flu vaccine this year. He sayâ??s even if you are healthy, itâ??s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the flu.
He says itâ??s a myth that flu shots can give you the flu.
Dr. Brilliant says itâ??s also a myth that you donâ??t need the shot each year. He says strains of flu change each year so itâ??s important to get the shot every year.
Another myth is that you can catch the flu from the weather, like if you go outside without a coat in the middle of winter, says Dr. Brilliant.
Dr. Brilliant says Tamiflu is often prescribed for confirmed flu patients who have had symptoms for less than 48 hours, especially children, seniors or others with weakened immune symptoms.
"Viruses live inside your cells so antibiotics don't work. Bacteria live outside of your cells, and antibiotics do work,â?? says Dr. Brilliant.
The doctor says most patients are told to treat the fever, drink