Midstate doctors, hospitals seeing early flu season

YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – It may be hard to believe, but many local doctors and hospitals are already diagnosing flu cases as the virus makes it way through the Midstate, but you can do things to prevent it.

“My throat started getting sore, and you kind of start to know that oh goodness, I’m about to be sick. It went downhill from there,” said Alycia Hall-Weaver, who has the flu.

Hall-Weaver is still sick with the flu more than a week after catching it.

“From Sunday was when I was in the bed, couldn’t move. All the phlegm draining in your throat. The body aching. You were just hot or you were cold,” Hall-Weaver said.

Dr. Mark Goedecker says WellSpan Health is mainly seeing strain A, which is more intense than strain B.

“The WellSpan York lab has seen nine confirmed cases,” said Goedecker, family practice doctor with WellSpan Health.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health reports 91 confirmed flu cases in the state in the first two weeks of October. 15 are in the Midstate, with more than half in York County.

York County has eight diagnosed cases, Cumberland County has four, Dauphin County has two, and Lancaster County has one. Doctors say the numbers are probably much higher because they have seen lots of suspected cases.

“You’re going to get respiratory symptoms,” Goedecker said. “You going to get a cough. You’ll get a fever. The big things are fevers and muscle aches. If you talk to somebody who has the flu, they’ll tell you they just feel terrible.”

One of the most important things to prevent catching the flu is to wash your hands often. If you can’t, doctors recommend using hand sanitizer. Keep your hands away from your mouth, nose, and eyes.

“Probably the most important thing is getting your flu shot,” Goedecker said.

Goedecker says now is the time to get your shot. He has some tips if you get the flu.

“You should definitely stay home and try not to infect other people if possible,” Goedecker said. “Getting enough sleep is really important, drinking fluids, all those old adages that we talk about.”

You should not have a fever for at least 24 hours before returning to work.

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