Flu season hitting hard - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Flu season hitting hard

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Doctors can test to see if you're sick with the flu and which strain you might have. Doctors can test to see if you're sick with the flu and which strain you might have.

By Michelle Paynter - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The Coastal Empire is at the peak of flu season and a lot of people are missing work and many children are out sick from school.

Sick children filled up the exam rooms at Pediatric Associates of Savannah today. Dr. Ben Spitalnick says it's a sure sign that flu season is here.

"Right now it looks like we are at a peak," he said.

This year, there are two strains of the flu making people sick. There's type A and type B. A simple swab of the nose confirms if a child is sick with the flu virus and which strain they have.

Dr. Spitanick said the flu is much worse than the common cold or a respiratory virus. "The flu or influenza viruses is a much sicker child. High fever, 103 to 104 plus, red eyes, wet, hacky cough, achy all over and really a lot sicker."

Liane Willard said the flu shot has kept her daughters from getting sick.

"Well last year I was home for two weeks with both children with full blown flu," Willard said. "So I figured this year, we are not going to do that, we are not going to get the flu this year. I'm so glad we got the shots."

Fifth grader Elizabeth Morgan just got over the flu. Today was her first day back at school.

"Mostly she ran a fever, lightheaded, dizzy, loss of appetite, a lot of sleep," said her mom Kimberly Morgan.

Now Kimberly wishes Elizabeth had gotten a flu shot. "I do now," she said. 

But there many parents who don't believe in the flu vaccine. "I'm not a big fan of the flu shots," said Rhonda Ruesch, a mother of two. "If they are going to get sick it builds their immunity and it's part of growing up."

But Dr. Spitalnick said it doesn't have to be. He's a true believer that the flu shot works wonders, especially this year.

"So if you got a flu vaccine this year you are in very good shape. You are protected against A, protected pretty well against B, but if you still catch B it is very sensitive to anti-flu medicines," he said. 

Dr. Spitalnick said flu season still has another five or six weeks to go. So, if you haven't gotten the flu shot, there is still time to protect yourself and your children.

Doctors said they best thing you can do to stay healthy all year long is to wash your hands frequently.

And if you do get sick, Dr. Spitalnick said it's important to stay home and don't infect other people at school or at work.

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