Health Watch: Flu season is here

RAPID CITY, SD (KEVN) It is cold and flu season and with this season we are watching all of our patients very closely to watch for signs of influenza. Influenza has not hit South Dakota yet and for most people, it will be like a really bad cold with lots of congestion and cough and runny nose, oftentimes some really high fevers, even headaches, and body aches. Some people are out of work or school for days with influenza. Influenza can be best prevented by making sure you are watching your hands carefully whenever you are preparing food for others or taking care of other people, and trying to avoid people when they are sick as well and encouraging them to stay home as well if they are planning a visit. But the first and most important way you can prevent influenza for yourself and your household is to make sure everyone gets vaccinated. A vaccine is very safe and effective and is especially important for those who would most be affected by influenza-like the very young and very old, or those with asthma or COPD or other lung ailments would fair poorly, but even very healthy people get very sick with influenza. If you have questions about influenza or the vaccine against influenza make sure to talk to your health provider or your child's provider. This is Dr. Cara Hamilton at Black Hills Pediatrics with your Health Watch