Flu season has arrived and a lot of people are getting clobbered.
Most of us can just stay at home if we get sick and follow the old advice: rest, drink lots of fluids and use over-the-counter pain drugs to deal with the fever and headaches.
But some people, those at risk of complications, should call the doctor at the first signs of the flu.
"People at highest risk of influenza complications include the elderly, young children, pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease," said Dr. Kathy Lofy with the Washington State Department of Health.
Antiviral drugs, like Tamiflu and Relenza, can shorten the length and severity of the disease. They work best if taken within 48 hours of the first symptoms.
Dr, Lofy says we're just heading into the peak of the flu season, so there's still time to
get your flu shot. And you really should.
"The Centers for Disease Control recommends annual influenza vaccine for all people six months and older," she said.
This year's flu vaccine covers the H1N1 Swine flu, one of the strains making people so sick.
Consumer Reports: Guide to the Flu