The flu virus is here.
In the past 2 weeks, Cooper Clinic reported performing 722 tests for the flu. Of those, 211 tested positive.
Arkansas State Epidemiologist Dr. Dirk Haselow said the flu virus has hit the public much earlier this year, and this year’s peak is expected to surpass those from previous years.
Pharmacist Sheila Schuster has been busy at work lately. “We’ve had whole households come in – 5 or 6 people – and every one of them contracted the flu,” she said.
Schuster said the flu is highly contagious and can spread easily – especially to people living in the same home.
“We just recommend the other family members to keep their hands washed and make sure the kids keep their hands out of their mouths.”
Once you begin to show flu symptoms – which include fever, headache, body aches and fatigue – it may be too late to cure the virus.
Pharmacist Joshua Rust said if caught early enough, there are some prescription medications that may help shorten the duration of the flu. However, if someone has already been sick for a few days though, all they can really do is treat the symptoms and wait it out.
Rust said he encourages people with the flu to stay hydrated. He said there are over-the-counter medications people can take to treat their symptoms.
“A lot of them have multiple medications in them, so you’ve got to make sure you’re treating the appropriate symptoms,” said Rust. “Talking to your pharmacist is a good way to determine if you are [treating the appropriate symptoms] or not.”
Dr. Haselow said while some home remedies like chicken soup may may someone feel better, they won’t cure the flu. He said people are generally able to return to work 24 hours after their temperature has returned to normal and their other symptoms have cleared.