SAN ANGELO, TX – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu affects roughly twenty-six million Americans every year. Compared to the Coronavirus outbreak, the chances of contracting the flu is much higher. “So this is considered to be one of the worst flu outbreaks in 40 years,” Shannon Clinic nurse practitioner Frankie Sewell said. “We have had more flu related deaths in the United States than we’ve had diagnoses of the Coronavirus in the entire world. We had an early flu season and then we had a low dip for a while and now we’re back into a second portion.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved several antiviral medications to treat the flu. These drugs, which you can get with a prescription from your doctor, can lessen the symptoms and duration of influenza.
“We do actually have treatments for the flu now that we didn’t use to,” Sewell said. “There’s over the counter homeopathic medications that have shown some benefit in treating the flu virus itself. Also there’s Tamiflu that can be used in anybody from infants all the way up until throughout their whole lifespan and there’s a new medicine out there called xofluza.”
Although the flu is highly contagious, there are still ways to avoid catching or spreading it.
“The number one way you prevent flu is by getting your vaccination,” Sewell said. “If you haven’t had your vaccination today you can still get it done. Come and get your vaccination by your regular provider or by an urgent care provider. That’s our number one. Other than that, wash your hands and stay away from those who are sick.”