WFAA sat down with pediatrician Dr. Vanessa Charette of Cook Children's Magnolia location to find out what you need to know about the current flu situation. There have been more than 1,100 children who have tested positive for the flu at the hospital's ER since August. Here are the highlights.
Dr. Charette: It's a very early peak. A lot of times flu doesn't hit until a bit later in the year, so we're anticipating we'll still see a lot of flu over the next two months.
At what point do you need to see a doctor?
Dr. Charette: So if you are in a high-risk category where you really need to get Tamiflu treatment, we suggest you see the doctor as soon as you have symptoms of the flu. That would include children 2 and under, adults over 65 and people who have other medical conditions like asthma or heart disease or diabetes.
It also doesn't mean you can't take Tamiflu if you're in the young, healthy age range.
What would you recommend as the best over-the-counter remedies for flu?
Dr. Charette: At home, the best things to do are keep yourself hydrated. You want to do lots of fluids, and a fever reducer such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, which will also help with the aches and pains you can get from the flu.
For a young, healthy adult, they could certainly manage at home with fluids and fever reducers but if they're feeling like they're not able to take enough fluid, they're having difficulty breathing, they're having chest pain with cough, of course, they need to see a doctor.
Some of our kids are going back to school this week. Some are going back at beginning of next week. Do you think schools should be taking extra precautions to make sure this isn't being passed along?
Dr. Charette: I think the main thing to prevent flu is usual things we do to prevent respiratory infections. I think it'll be more of the routine hand-washing, keeping sick children home rather than a deep clean.
How detrimental is it to go back to work or back to school before you've fully healed?
Dr. Charette: It really just increases the risk of spreading the flu to everyone around you.