BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – There is no doubt that the flu is sweeping the country.
It is now considered widespread in 36 states, including Ohio and Pennsylvania. Local doctors talked Wednesday about fighting the flu, saying the most important thing is not to panic.
Unless someone has a child under 2, has an underlying health condition or are elderly, chances are the flu won’t hit someone any worse than a really bad cold. Some of the symptoms include fever, a strong and heavy cough, chills and aches.
Staying hydrated is important. And if a fever lasts more than four or five days, it might be time to see a doctor.
“You will hear a lot about Tamiflu and things like that. We try to reserve using that for children under 2, the elderly or anybody with a complication or a medical problem. Things like asthma, heart disease,” Dr. Erin Donley, a pediatrician at Akron Children’s Hospital, said.
As always, the best ways to prevent the flu are frequent hand washing, not touching your face and getting a flu vaccine, even if it isn’t quite as effective as usual.
Donley said the flu itself is not any worse than usual, but the number of people getting sick is higher than normal.
“We’re seeing a lot more flu because our vaccine is not as effective. So more people are being affected by it and more people are going to have complications,” she said.