Posted: Dec 13, 2012 2:21 PM by Janine Reyes
Updated: Dec 13, 2012 6:44 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - It's the season for shopping and visits with Santa, but it's also the season for strep throat and the flu and all the hustle and bustle can be a breeding ground for germs to spread.
Doctors say they're seeing an increase in both strep throat and the flu.
Busy shopping malls are just a way of life these days, with less than two weeks till Christmas.
But shopping center crowds are causing crowds somewhere else, too, at the doctors office.
Two-year-old Scarlet Barrera's mom, Skye, says after a fever of 104 last night, they spent today at the doctors office, only to find out, little Scarlet has the flu.
Katherine Hensely, MD, FAAP says that's a diagnosis she's had to make a lot lately.
"In the last 2-3 weeks is when I've been seeing flus come back as positive and that's for strep as well, in the last 2 weeks or 3 weeks it seems to be picking up," Dr. Hensely said.
So how do you make sure not to pick up those germs? Dr. Hensely says it's no myth that hand washing definitely helps. Even Santa can make you sick, if you're not careful. "For parents I would encourage them make sure your kids are washing their hands before and after visiting with Santa," Hensley said.
Another tip Hensely tells all her patients; the flu shot is a must. "Its never too late," she said.
Scarlet's mom Skye had to learn that the hard way. "We have not done that yet, they wouldn't do it today because she's not feeling well, but we do have appointments for all 3 of my kids to get it done next Tuesday," Barrera told us.
And if you do catch the flu or strep throat, is there something you can do to make it go away faster? Some people swear by extra vitamins, maybe some green tea. "There is some good evidence that taking vitamins regularly can help prevent illnesses, its not going to cure an illness once you have one," said the doctor.
Which means you're best bet, is prevention.
"Hand sanitizers are also very effective, there's only a couple bugs they don't kill," said Hensley.
Dr Hensley says if you see the signs of strep throat, that's fever, a sore throat and stomach problems, see your doctor.
If you have muscle aches, a fever and a cough, it's time to get tested for the flu.
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