(Please excuse this short post during this short week. If you feel deprived of health education, I’ve listed some educational links for you below.)
You better watch out. The flu is coming to town, and it doesn’t care if you’ve been naughty or nice. It looks like flu season is starting later this year than usual, but both the CDC data and Google Flu Trends suggest that illnesses due to the flu are increasing nationwide.
The best way to protect yourself is with a flu shot. And if you do get sick, call your doctor right away. Antiviral medicines can help shorten the duration of the flu but only if they are started in the first 48 hours of symptoms.
Google Flu Trends is the coolest way to track flu activity. You can look at individual states, and now also major cities. Check it out in time to warn Grandma in Milwaukee!
My post about who should and should not receive a flu shot.
Is it a cold or the flu? Here’s my post about identifying and treating the common cold.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Flu Activity and Surveillance (written for doctors more than for patients)
Important legal mumbo jumbo:
Anything you read on the web should be used to supplement, not replace, your doctor’s advice. Anything that I write is no exception. I’m a doctor, but I’m not your doctor despite the fact that you read or comment on my posts. Leaving a comment on a post is a wonderful way to enter into a discussion with other readers, but I will not respond to comments (just because of time constraints).