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Doctors in SLO County seeing an influx of patients with flu - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Doctors in SLO County seeing an influx of patients with flu

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Health care providers in San Luis Obispo County are seeing an influx of patients with the flu.

Doctors stress it is really important for everyone to be diligent about washing their hands and keeping an eye out for the signs of flu before it's too late.

“We are seeing a lot of influenza right now. Often it doesn’t peak until later January, February but if this isn’t the peak, we are in for a really bad year,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, San Luis Obispo County Health Officer.

Physician Jon Lepp said the best way to protect yourself is to get the vaccination.

“It decreases complications from the flu, it decreases the severity of the symptoms,” said Dr. Lepp.

If you start to feel those flu-like symptoms, like high fever, really bad body aches, headaches, and/or congestion, Lepp says people should see their doctor, stressing that It’s important to get treated early.

“If you are not treated within 40 hours, the effectiveness of the treatment is pretty limited,” Lepp explained.

The San Luis Obispo County Health Department said it is important to not ignore the symptoms as the virus can have deadly consequences.

“The range of deaths in the United States alone from influenza can be somewhere around 30,000 to 100,000 people who might die in a given year,” Borenstein explained.

Common hygiene is essential and if you are feeling sick, stay home.

“If you do have a fever, I’d at least stay home for 24-hours after developing the fever. But it’s how infections spread, you know, if you come to work and you are coughing all over me and shaking hands with me, there is a high probability that you are going to get me sick as well,” Lepp explained.

Health professionals say people can still get sick after being vaccinated but the symptoms are not as bad. 

The health department adds that for the majority of people who come down sick with the flu, they can rest and recover at home and do not need to seek out additional medical help. 

It is still not too late to get a flu shot. Talk to your health care provider about getting one.

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