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Healthwatch: Flu Season

The flu season is here and local doctors have already seen more than 900 cases. This year, some patients are reporting symptoms are worse than ever.

Linda Avent from the Jackson-Madison County General Hospital infection control department says the flu can be prevented.

"We really encourage people to take the flu vaccine," Avent said. "We are finding a lot of people still haven't taken it this season and it's really caught us off guard."

It does take 2 weeks for the vaccine to fully protect you, so she says get vaccinated sooner than later.

If you start getting symptoms like fever, headache, body aches and chills, see your doctor right away. The flu is highly contagious, and the best thing to if you're sick is to stay home.

"If you go to group settings, and we are big on that in west Tennessee, I encourage you, if you're the slightest bit ill, don't do it," Avent said. "Don't go to services, don't go to public environments, send someone else to do your shopping for you. Don't put yourself out there to encourage the spread."

Call your health care provider to see where the flu vaccine is available near you.

Children 6 months and older can receive the vaccine, and 2 year olds can begin to receive the mist.

If you do come down with the flu, doctors say to treat the symptoms such as fever with over the counter medicines, but make sure to call your health care provider first to see which one is the best for you.

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