We all know the signs, coughing, sneezing, a fever, the signs of impending flu, but Dr. Roger Ulrich says as soon as you feel symptoms its time to go to the doctor.
“The first 48 hours are pretty important because that time frame, if you can diagnose the flu, we can treat it with TamaFlu and other medications, and that will prevent further complications or minimize complications, and the severity and duration of the illness,” Ulrich, a primary care physician with Bluffton Primary Care Associates.
But if you haven’t gotten bitten by the flu bug there is one piece of advice Ulrich gives. Get your flu shot!
“The flu shot has been shown in multiple studies to reduce the infection of the flu, along with hospitalizations, clinic visits, both pediatric and adult visits, along with ICU stays and certainly death as well.”
And death is a possibility–in South Carolina last year there were 156 flu-related deaths statewide. In Georgia, there were only 28 confirmed cases.
“The flu is a fatal disease, and obviously there are people that are more vulnerable to it than others. That would be people who are immune-compromised, children, certain people who are elderly, pregnant women, those groups of people are more vulnerable to the flu both in terms of complications and fatalities.”
He says don’t wait, because there always seems to be a shortage of shots at the height of the season.
“It’s important to get it as quickly as you can because you don’t know what availability will be in the future.”