Flu season arrives with vengeance

According to the government website, flu.gov, if you have a fever over 100 degrees, a cough or sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, headaches or body aches, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and or diarrhea, you may have the flu. Since there have been many people sick with either the flu some may not know they have it until they have been around a number of people. According to Boonville Dr. John Ward, this flu season is worse than it has been for at least two years and he feels it may get even worse. Ward said he started seeing the flu around Thanksgiving and once the weather started getting colder, the frequency of people having the flu increased. He said if the flu is caught early enough, a medicine such as Tamiflu can be used to decrease the length of the flu. The best treatment, he said, to deter the flu from the beginning is by getting a flu shot. The government flu website stated that treating the symptoms is the most common way of dealing with the flu. It is recommend that by getting plenty of rest, drinking clear fluids like water, broth, sports drinks, or electrolyte beverages to prevent becoming dehydrated, placing a cool, damp washcloth on your forehead, arms, and legs to reduce discomfort associated with a fever, putting a humidifier in your room to make breathing easier, gargling salt water (1:1 ratio warm water to salt) to soothe a sore throat and by covering up with a warm blanket to calm chills will make the flu symptoms slowly disappear. Ward added by cleaning items that are in constant contact with people is a must. He said such items as remotes, refrigerators and counter tops must be cleaned constantly. "Avoid areas of a lot of people," Ward said. "Keep washing your hands and keep a bottle of hand sanitizer around as well." Ward said the flu will run its course between seven to 10 days.