Medical Monday Flu Season

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 1:16 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -Flu season is in full swing. Last week we told you how flu season has come late this year, due at least in part to relaxed Covid restrictions. The predominate strain is currently influenza A. If you do develop symptoms, it can be almost impossible to tell whether it’s the flu or Covid.

Julie Tutt, the Manager of Quality and Infection Prevention for Northern Light AR Gould Hospital says “It was really when the masking, the distancing that we really started to see that surge in cases. And if you look back to last years flu season, we really only had a handful of cases. And that’s when those mandates were in place and everyone was distancing.”

This years flu season has arrived late. But now it’s here, many are unsure if the symptoms they are experiencing are flu, allergies or Covid.

Tutt adds, “Malaise, fever, body aches, cough, congestion, so very similar to Covid.”

Tutt says there is really only one way to know which you have.

“I definitely recommend getting tested if you do develop symptoms, even if you just think, oh it’s that time of year, I get allergies every time this year, it’s just got to be my allergies, the only way to really be certain is to get tested.” according to Tutt.

Tutt says you can either test with at home tests or go to testing sites. If it is the flu, says you can treat at home.

“Drink fluids, get lots of rest if you’re an individual who already has respiratory issues, using your nebulizers, your inhalers. Keep track of your oxygen saturation, things like that.” She says.

If your symptoms persist beyond a few days or get worse, Tutt does recommend seeing your healthcare provider. And of course, washing hands, covering your cough, staying home when your sick and getting the flu shot are all ways to avoid getting the flu in the first place.

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