Southern Illinois doctors combat flu outbreak - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Southern Illinois doctors combat flu outbreak

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WILLIAMSON CO. -- Flu activity remains high in Illinois with hundreds of cases of the flu reported in the state.

Doctors in Herrin told News 3 they are seeing twice as many patients than last year walk through their doors seeking treatment for the flu or flu-like symptoms, with everyone from children to grandparents.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 60 children have died across the country due to the flu this season.

Dr. Richard Buchman, from SIH Medical Group's Internal Medicine, treated a few dozen patients for the flu in the past couple months, twice the amount he treated this time last year.

"We're also seeing a lot of cases of influenza B as well as other respiratory viruses," Dr. Richard said.

Dr. Richard prescribes Tamiflu to some patients, which can reduce symptoms and the severity, but does not completely get rid of the flu, according to doctors. Some places are reportedly starting to run out of it.

Doctors encourage you to wash your hands throughout the day or use hand sanitizer to keep the germs away. They also encourage you to wear a mask in public if you have the flu.

And how do you know if you have the flu?

"With kids, a lot of the times you'll have GI symptoms, throwing up, nausea, with adults it's more generalized body aches, fatigue, you feel like you've been hit by a truck," Dr. Richard said.

Dr. Richard also advises folks to take the flu shot and stay away from big crowds, if possible.

"People should take precautions, we say that every year but especially this year," Dr. Richard said.

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