SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- The flu continues to kill and hospitalize people across Massachusetts.
The State Department of Public Health has raised the flu to its highest severity level as a result
Symptoms of the flu include a fever of 100 degrees or more, as well as a cough, or sore throat. Doctors in Western Massachusetts are diagnosing adults and children with the flu every day.
Local doctors say you should be much more worried about the flu than the coronavirus. The flu is extremely contagious and can spread easily by coughing or by shaking someone’s hand. They said it’s not too late in the flu season to get the flu shot.
“The biggest prevention really is the flu vaccine, said Dr. John O’Reilly, Chief of Baystate Health’s Division of General Pediatrics. “And I think its really important for parents who have been reluctant to get their kids vaccinated. We are still in the midst of this. The flu vaccine will help.”
Dr. O’Reilly told 22News the flu vaccine takes about two weeks to become effective. Although the vaccine isn’t the perfect match for the influenza b-strain, it will help the immune system fight off the virus and you’ll be less likely to have serious complications.
When you’re in public places, Dr. O’Reilly said you should make a habit of washing your hands or using hand sanitizer, and limit contact with others. They typically see flu cases into March.