The flu tends to creep up around this time of year. Whether or not you had a flu shot, there are some precautionary measures that you can take.

At Ohio Health Doctors Hospital, they’ve seen a steady increase of patients coming in since October with flu-like symptoms. They confirm there have been at least a dozen confirmed cases of the flu.

Dr. Holly Bryant, a Physician at Ohio Health Doctors Hospital and Quality Director at the Emergency Department explains, “We’re still seeing, of course, a lot of bronchitis, pneumonia, kind of stomach viruses that are going around as well.”

So for starters let’s begin with what is the best thing to do to avoid the flu? Dr. Bryant says, “Go get your flu shot! We do, in Ohio, tend to get hit hard end of January, end of February, some years. And I am a firm believer in the flu shot. And it is not too late. A lot of people are like, ‘oh it’s too late.’ It is not. And because we’ve had lighter flu season so far, there’s still plenty of places that have flu shots available so go out and get your flu shots.”

While some people still get sick even after getting a flu shot, the shot is not the cause of the illness.

“Most of the time, your immune system is already down because you’re not getting enough sleep. It’s the holidays, so your stressed out, so you’re more likely to pick up other viruses as well. You really can’t contract the full flu from the flu shot. It’s not a live virus. So it just always seems that way. You’re getting exposed to other things when you’re getting the flu shot. Or you already were kind of exposed to something and getting sick,” said Dr. Bryant.

Now whether you did or did not get your flu shot here are some basics to help you try to stay healthy –

  • Use hand sanitizers
  • Vitamin B and C, as well as zinc, are good for your immune system
  • Get enough sleep
  • Stay hydrated
  • Stay away from sick people

What should you do if you start to feel sick? Dr. Bryant says you should contact your family physician’s office to help determine if you need to be seen.

If you have any of the following symptoms, you should be seen right way:

  • Vomiting
  • Can’t keep medications down
  • Dehydration
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing

“We’re here 24 hours a day 365 days a year we are happy to take care of everyone,” said Bryant. “Anybody that’s concerned, especially young kids and older people. The flu is dangerous. The flu does kill people.”

“As physicians, the flu does worry us. So come in and get checked out if you think you need to get checked out,” said Bryant.