(KCEN) – The dreaded flu season is here, along with its miserable muscle aches, chills, fevers and pain. To help put a dent in the number of flu cases this year, doctors are strongly urging families to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
"The flu is a horrible illness, and will make you feel rotten for ten days or so," Scott and White physician Paul Gerdes. "It would put me out of work for a week or two."
Gerdes says in order to help get families vaccinated he Scott and White clinic in Killeen will hold three flu shot clinics. Scott and White patients will be able to walk-in without an appointed from 5:30p.m. to 7:30 p.m. next Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
During these clinics Gerdes says they'll see as many as 800 people per clinic to get their shot. But while there may be a line, he says it's definitely worth the wait.
"It's an effective vaccine. It's easy to prevent the illness and we should get everybody vaccinated if we can," he said.
Doctors recommend everyone age six months and older get the vaccine. Symptoms include fever, chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache and a runny or stuffy nose. Medications used for colds can be used to treat the flu, along with antiviral medications like Tamiflu, however they much be started within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.
The common cold's symptoms are similar to the flu, minus the muscle aches and chills. It can be treated with decongestants like Sudafed or Mucinex, Tylenol and Advil for fever, and Robitussin for the cough.
Gerdes says the best thing you can do to stay healthy is get vaccinated, and use good hygiene like frequently washing your hands thoroughly.