This year the flu is hitting early and hard - FOX 10 News |

This year the flu is hitting early and hard

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Beaumont infectious disease specialist Dr. Carl Lauter  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Beaumont infectious disease specialist Dr. Carl Lauter (Credit: Fox 2 News)

By Deena Centofanti
Fox 2 News

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WJBK) -- No doubt about it, the flu is hitting early and hard.  Michigan is one of the states with reported high influenza-like illness activity.  The CDC is reporting across the country we're seeing levels of flu activity that usually are peak levels much later in the season.

Flu symptoms can include a high fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny nose and muscle aches.

So what should you do if you have those symptoms?  Dr. Carl Lauter, a Beaumont infectious disease specialist, said, "If you think you have the flu and you're tolerating it, just take lots of fluids and get lots of rest.  If you have underlying health problems or if it's really hitting you hard, you better call your doctor right away and find out what else may be needed."

When does the flu turn deadly?

"The flu kills people... by the virus itself attacking our lungs or other parts of our body, by weakening our immune system and allowing us to get bacterial pneumonia, or by totally destabilizing our chronic health problems, such as heart failure, emphysema, previous neurological damage and so on."

The flu shot -- is the vaccine a good match is there still time?

"The vaccine looks like a very good match this year and there is definitely still time.  It does take a week or two to get some immunity from the vaccine, so if you're going to get the vaccine, go get it now."

No one can really explain why flu season is hitting early.  The CDC recommends anyone older than six months of age get the flu shot.

Click here for a flu shot finder.

Remember, hand washing and hand sanitizers will also help protect you.

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