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Doctors say holiday season leads to uptick in flu

While it’s fun to spend time with family and friends over the holiday season, doctors say it typically leads to an uptick in the flu.

Dr. Tara Flynn, medical director for Mizzou Urgent Care, said flu numbers are pretty consistent when compared to last year. She also said people have been staying healthy in the days leading up to Thanksgiving.

“We are now not seeing very many (cases) over the last several days,” Flynn told ABC 17 News Wednesday.

Flynn said that trend could quickly change over the next couple months, especially with people traveling. She said it’s important to get the flu vaccine as quickly as possible.

“The vaccine is one of the best ways to prevent the flu,” Flynn said.

Flynn said more people have been coming in earlier to get the vaccine because the flu was so bad last year. Symptoms include a high fever, body aches, sore throat and sometimes a respiratory illness such as a cough.

“Flu is usually a very abrupt onset. That’s what sets it apart from some other illnesses,” Flynn said.

Flynn said “a healthy individual” can typically handle the flu on his or her own, but elderly people and young children may be at a higher risk for complications and will need to see a doctor.

She said the best way to stay healthy, in addition to getting vaccinated, is to wash your hands and wash surfaces.

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