MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Grand Strand doctors are seeing increasing numbers of patients with the flu and multiple strains, meaning the flu season could be sticking around longer this year.
This is usually when flu season is beginning, but we've had a very early start in our area. Doctors say the number of flu cases in our area are not slowing down. If anything, they seem to be increasing.
In fact, school nurses in Horry County are bracing for the second wave of flu cases that they expect to see this week as kids are coming back for the first full week of classes after holiday vacation.
"There are five major symptoms we are seeing when it comes to flu: low-grade fever, headache, a lot of body aches, nausea and coughing," says Dr. Ronald Reynolds with Beach Family & Urgent Care.
Doctors recommend rest and relaxation.
"Flu is going to run its course. The common cold is going to run its course. The question is, how miserable are you going to be and what can you do to make yourself feel better," explains Dr. Reynolds.
Some people have their own tricks to use at home to make themselves feel better. Drinking hot tea with honey, a warm shower, or just taking aspirin and resting up.
"From products you buy at a pharmacy to following what your mom used to do when you were younger, I think part of being sick, there's some peripheral things that people do to make themselves feel better," says Dr. Reynolds.
Doctors say most of it comes down to comfort.
"With chicken noodle soup and some other things it is just the nurturing component," explains Dr. Reynolds.
Many people believe chicken noodle soup doesn't just soothe your soul, but can cure your common cold and flu.
While doctors don't discourage cuddling up with a cup of soup, they do urge you to treat your symptoms.
"Bottom line on that is making sure you're taking care of yourself, getting plenty of rest and drinking fluids," suggests Dr. Reynolds.
Treatments for the cold and flu are pretty similar, but there are medications that can reduce your symptoms and make you feel better, faster. Vitamin C and Zinc are also beneficial.
"Anything like that helps strengthen your immune system," says Dr. Reynolds, explaining that is important in order to keep yourself healthy year-round and not just during flu season.
Doctors say it is still not too late to get your flu shot.