Doctors warn brutal temperatures ramping up flu season

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– “This year me and my wife got it at the same time, the flu, and we lost a week of work.”

Dan Collins says the flu wiped them out, and he’s not alone. November and December have already been nasty months for the cold and flu.

But now with the arctic blast and everyone indoors, there are more germs in a more concentrated area, which spreads illness faster. Dr. Stephen Wolf is the chief of the emergency department at St. Francis hospital. He says the brutal temperatures are ramping up the flu and cold season.

“It is sort of like being on the plane, everybody gets sick afterwards so it is kind of similar to that.”

Dr. Wolf says it is OK if you’re sick to say, I’m not going to shake your hand today. Do knuckles or bump elbows but he says if you’re sick it’s a common courtesy not to shake hands, because that is the number one way the germs are spread.”

“You get germs on your hands and then you rub your face and then it gets in through your eyes and mouth and so it is easy to spread.”

And with the flu, you’re contagious right before as well as during the symptoms. He says you have to do your part: wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, try not to touch your face and get the flu shot… especially if you’re elderly, very young, or in a high-risk category. Because Dr. Wolf says they’re seeing more people being hospitalized for for the flue this time of year.

“We are starting to see an uptick in people who are being admitted that are positive for the flu and have a lot of other medical problems they’re being admitted for pneumonia. ”

Doctors recommend if you have sick kids or are sick yourself stay home from school, stay home from work, because this time of year the germs spread like wild fire.

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