Tips to prevent catching the flu or stomach bug

Doctors say it’s not too late to get your flu shot.

Photo Courtesy: WHTM

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The flu and stomach bug have been going around the Midstate and are spreading throughout homes and workplaces.

“The Pennsylvania Department of Health just sent out a memo that the flu is now widespread,” Dr. John D. Goldman, infectious disease specialist at PinnacleHealth, said.

“I don’t ever want to get the flu again. I had it once. It felt like I got hit by a truck. It’s the body aches I remember the most about it,” Karen Rogers said.

Rogers hasn’t gotten the flu since because she gets her flu shot every year.

Doctors say it’s not too late to get your flu shot.

“If you get the flu shot, you have almost immediately a little bit of protection from the flu and then full protection within one to two weeks,” Goldman said.

The flu shot won’t prevent the stomach bug, but doctors have some tips to prevent catching it, as well as the flu.

“The things your mother used to tell you,” Goldman said. “Get enough sleep, get enough rest, not smoking, not drinking too much, but most importantly, washing your hands frequently.”

Goldman says viruses can live on many surfaces for up to a day, such as tables or doorknobs.

“If you have the flu, you really should stay at home,” Goldman said. “If you stay at home, you may infect the people at home, not the 20 people at work.”

“The flu is going to be around until probably April,” Rogers said.

Rogers, now a physician’s assistant at PinnacleHealth, hopes people take steps to avoid the flu. It’s a feeling she remembers all too well.

“I don’t think people think about wearing masks at home, but it really would be a good idea,” Rogers said. You can get them at the drugstore.”

Goldman says the average person touches their face 20 times in an hour, and that’s the main way germs can spread. He expects the flu season to peak within the next couple weeks.

Copyright 2017 WHTM

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