Dr. Oz: Best Way to Prevent the Flu
Stacia Woodcock, a Walgreens pharmacist, says it is important to maintain a good relationship with your local pharmacist because they are there to answer your questions and to help you, especially during flu season. She says they can even give you your flu vaccine if you are unable to get to your doctor’s office, but more importantly they can help you with any medication decisions you are trying to make. Stacia shared her best advice for everyone during flu season.
- Prevention is key
- Cover your mouth
- Wash your hands
- Get a flu shot (which comes in a higher concentration for folks over 65 years of age since their immune systems are weaker than younger people)
Dr Oz: Flu-Fighting Kit
Dr. Oz says there are four items everyone should have in their flu kit at home in order to prevent or fight the symptoms if you get sick.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers or wipes: Since most of us do not have the time to wash our hands for the ideal amount of time (20-30 seconds), hand sanitizers are a good option to fight off germs. Look for a label that contains 60-95% alcohol.
Ibuprofen & Acetaminophen: Stacia Woodcock says Ibuprofen is a good option for treating flu symptoms like fever and body aches and pains, but since everyone is not able to take Ibuprofen she also recommends Acetaminophen as another alternative.
Nasal Decongestant: A stuffy nose is a miserable side effect of the flu, so pharmacist Stacia Woodcock recommends keeping a nasal decongestant in your flu-fighting kit! She says it is important to buy a medicine that matches your exact symptoms even it does not say “flu” on the box because it can still treat the symptoms you are having.
Chicken Soup: While many people think eating chicken soup while you are sick is just an old wives’ tale, Stacia says there is actually research that shows chicken soup reduces inflammation in the body. It also loosens and thins out the mucous in your body to help get rid of the flu virus faster when you are sick. Dr. Oz says to make sure you look for “low sodium” on the label.
Dr Oz: Do Antibiotics Treat the Flu?
Stacia Woodcock says there is a big misconception among many people when they get sick. She explained that while there are prescription medications you can take to treat the symptoms of the flu, it is a viral infection, so antibiotics that are meant to treat bacterial infections will not work. The important thing to keep in mind is if you consider a medication for the flu, you must take it within two days of getting sick or it will not help.
Dr Oz: Cold vs Flu How to Tell the Difference
Stacia explained the basic differences between a regular cold and the flu.
- Cold: Involves the head – runny, stuffy nose, sore throat.
- Flu: Involves the entire body – chest congestion, body aches, joint pain as well as the head stuff.
Dr. Oz says the remember the acronym F.A.C.T.S. to help determine if you have the flu:
- Sudden Onset
Dr Oz: Should Pregnant Women Get a Flu Shot?
Walgreens pharmacist Stacia Woodcock says not only should pregnant women get a flu shot, but they are also considered high risk for getting infected because it can not only cause health problems for them, but also for their babies. The safest option for pregnant women is the flu shot, not the flu spray.