AUSTIN (KXAN) — Grab your tissues y’all. Flu season is upon us and it’s ramping up.
Dr. Eric Higginbotham chatted with KXAN Wednesday morning at Dell Children’s Medical Center. His focus regarded children and influenza.
The center stated in their press release it has seen a marked increase in children with flu-like symptoms. They treated 343 children for these symptoms this past Monday, November 18, and 324 more in the last 24 hours since KXAN’s visit with Dr. Higginbotham.
Numbers the doctor says are typical but the “increase to the degree that we’ve seen over this amount of time is a little atypical,” Higginbotham said.
The majority of those treated are doing well though.
“What we’re doing with those kids is sorta controlling the symptoms, making sure they get plenty of fluids, controlling their fever with acetaminophen or Tylenol,” Higginbotham said.
Flu-like symptoms to watch out for:
- Runny/stuffy nose
- Nasal Congestion
- Sore throat
- Abdominal pain
Doctors recommend children over the age of 6 months need to get a flu vaccine. The vaccine helps reduce the risk of getting the flu and decreases the severity of symptoms if you contract the virus.
Prescription medications are also available. The meds are called “antiviral drugs,” which can be used to treat flu illness. Dell Children’s said in their press release that studies show these drugs work best for treatment when they are started within two days of getting sick.
If you do get sick with a flu-like illness, the CDC recommends:
- Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs.