Experts urge prevention during widespread flu season

MADISON, Wis. — UW Health is reporting 100 pediatric flu cases and 175 adult flu cases so far this flu season. That’s compared that to 11 cases for kids and 43 for adults this time last year.

Ernise Watson an associate dean at Madison College tells News 3 Now that the flu spreads through droplets of people infected with the flu as they cough, sneeze or talk. Be sure to wipe down commonly used item like TV remotes, computer keyboards, phones and headphones. Also pay extra close attention to commonly used spaces like bathrooms and kitchens. Wipe down all your surfaces with a disinfectant and be especially mindful of things like the microwave and fridge doors and sink handle. Another tool in prevention is the flu vaccine. Consider getting vaccinated if you haven’t already.

“It’s best to get it pretty close to October because then you’ll have longer immunity, but even if you didn’t, you’ll still gain some protection,” Watson said. “It takes a couple of weeks for you to gain that immunity but know that some immunity now is better than none because the flu season extends into March.

So how do you know if you’re sick with the flu or just a common cold? Watson tells News 3 Now that a high fever is a good indicator.

“The flu is often accompanied with a higher fever more than a regular cold might. So if you have a higher fever and your symptoms seam to last a little longer, you have the chills, achiness, some of those are the signs.

If you do get sick be sure to stay in a room away from other family members to prevent the flu from spreading and consider wearing a protective mask.