Cold and flu season is upon us |

Cold and flu season is upon us

Button up that jacket. Take those vitamins. Don’t go outside with wet hair.

As the temperature drops and Jack Frost blows blustery days and winter germs our way, mom’s litany of warnings comes to mind.

According to Caryn Kelly, a registered nurse at Tahoe Family Physicians, this year’s flu epidemic has brought quite a few patients into the waiting room.

“A lot of our patients get the flu vaccination, but that’s just for the strains that are suspected to be the worst,” Kelly said. “Then they end up getting one of the other strains and there’s some pretty severe symptoms this year.”

The common cold also rears its ugly head a bit more than usual during the winter season. But according to Dr. William Everets at the Stateline Medical Clinic, taking echinacea has been proven to fight sore throat and upper respiratory infections and speed up the recovery process.

“It acts more as an antibiotic than a preventative drug,” Everets said. “You can’t just take it like you take your vitamins. It’s effective in shortening the course of the disease once you already have it.”

Everets also recommends good old-fashioned, warm salt water for sore throats and plenty of rest for all illnesses.

“There’s no doubt about it. We are in the flu season right now,” he said. “And there’s been a lot of upper respiratory complaints. I’m surprised that there’s anybody left in Tahoe to treat. We’re seeing a lot of people right now.”

Kelly advises staying out of crowded places, maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet and hand washing.

“Really good hand washing is probably the biggest deterrent for spreading germs,” Kelly said. “And it’s so dry up here, so of course, fluids, fluids and more fluids.”

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