Doctor shares flu-fighting tips as number of deaths climbs in AR

Local News

Flu season is in full swing and doctors say we still have several more months to go. So far this season, the Arkansas Department of Health reported 14 flu-related deaths. 

Body aches, fever, chills…doctors say these are just some of the signs you may have the flu. And the flu – it’s nothing to sneeze at. 

“It is very, very important for us to realize that even young healthy people can unfortunately perish from the flu,” said Dr. Matt Young with the Texarkana Emergency Center. 
 
Young said his team is seeing an increase in patients with flu-like symptoms, and it’s important to see your healthcare provider when you first notice you’re getting sick. 
 
“It’s OK to miss work,” said Young. “Your employer will understand. They don’t want the other people in the work environment to get sick.”
 
Young said the very young and the elderly have the highest risk of death from the influenza virus. 
 
“They don’t have near the protection and also the half tank already full,” said Young. “When they get to a certain point and they get dehydrated, they’re at the end of their kind of their rope, and their tank is completely empty. So, it’s very, very important to try to get them in as soon as they start getting sick or we notice that they’re ill.”
 
Young said one of the best ways to help stop the spread of sickness is washing your hands. 
 
“As a healthcare provider, we wash our hands between every patient before we go in and after we go in, to make sure we don’t spread anything,” said Young. “And the general public should take that in mind, too. You have to protect yourself because the person that is ill may not even understand that they have the flu virus and also that they’re contagious and can spread it along.
 
Young said it’s never too late to get your flu shot. 

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