Dr. Jennifer McKay of Avera Internal Medicine Physician says this year’s flu is affecting a lot of people.

“What we see right now is about every five years or so the flu virus mutates and people have to build up a different immunity to it. Our population isn’t yet immune to this new variation of the flu virus. We are experiencing a widespread flu season this year compared with previous years.”

What are the symptoms of the flu?

“Body aches, pain, fever, chills, cough, a lot of people think the flu can also include vomiting. It certainly can. But most of the symptoms we see are more related to an upper respiratory illness.”

If you have flu like symptoms, Dr. McKay suggests you get checked out!

“Drink enough water and hydrate. You can also go in and checked to see if you are eligible to receive medications. Certainly people with chronic illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure or lung diseases you want to get treatment right away.”

Dr. McKay suggests it’s really important to use good hand hygiene in an effort to avoid getting the flu.

If you haven’t already received a flu shot the Avera doctor says it’s still worthwhile to get one.

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