Learn how to combat the flu this season


RAPID CITY, S.D. – For the 2018 -2019 season it’s estimated over 60,000 people in the U.S. died from the flu and over 40 million showed symptoms of the illness.

Here in South Dakota, we’re just getting into flu season and unlike in years past, they’re starting the season with more Flu-B than any other strand.  

Of course, prevention starts with getting the flu shot, but that doesn’t guarantee that it will completely protect you from the deadly virus. Those that get their flu shot tend to be more immune and if they do get the flu, symptoms tend to be milder.

The next thing you want to do is sanitize as often as possible.

“We see lots of illness spread through unsanitized surfaces, this can be the grocery store, this can be the gym, this can be anywhere that you’re touching surfaces that other people touch. So we see lots of germs spread this way and sanitizing this can help kill some of those germs and help keep you protected from illness,” says Dr. Brook Eide, with Monument Health.  

Be sure to wipe down exercise equipment, shopping carts or baskets before and after use. It’s also a good idea to carry hand sanitizer and use it after being out in public, shaking hands, or touching public property. Overall sanitized or not, avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

“But the biggest thing is just boosting your own immune system, doing things like getting plenty of sleep, plenty of fluids and rest, and helping yourself get better,” says Dr. Eide.

For kids, it can be a bit tougher because, well they’re kids. Do your best to make basic hygiene practices fun. Some suggestions: singing a song while they wash their hands or making it into a game.

Lastly, if you’re sick stay home. The flu is very contagious, and it can pose a major threat to the young, the elderly, and those with pre-existing conditions.

Dr. Eide says, “It’s not too late to get the flu shot, we’re still giving it. It’s protective, it works within a few weeks, and we’re still here early in flu season, so if you haven’t had your flu shot, we really encourage you to get it.”

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News