Medical expert provides tips to prevent getting the flu

Posted: Updated:

Experts say it’s not too late to get a flu shot.

Every year, experts warn about the flu, but they want the public to know just how easily it spreads.

Experts say that 30% of people carrying the virus do not have symptoms and they can spread flu germs to others up to six feet away.

Andrew Pietris, a medical provider at American Family Care in Yorktown Heights, says it couldn't be peaking at a worse time - the holiday season is a hot bed for spreading the flu.

"Typically, the flu peaks much later in the season, but this is the earliest in about 15 years that we are starting to see the flu peak,” says Pietris.

This year, doctors are seeing an unusual strain of the virus.

"It’s strain B, which typically doesn't peak until later in the season,” says Pietris.

Pietris says there are tips to avoid catching the bug, including playing it safe at the pump. He suggests grabbing a paper towel before picking up a gas nozzle.

He also suggests using your knuckle when punching your card PIN in at a checkout counter to help prevent the transfer of germs.

Pietris says it’s important to pack some sanitizing wipes if catching a flight because airports are covered with germs.

"We are hoping for the best but planning for the worst,” says Pietris.

Pietris says the best defense against catching the flu is getting a vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates there have been 2.6 million cases of the flu this season – 23,000 people have been hospitalized and 1,300 have died.


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