Fighting the flu, finding out when you're contagious - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Fighting the flu, finding out when you're contagious

SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) -

You might feel like you're too busy to get sick, but if you do start feeling flu symptoms, nurses say there's a good chance you could be contagious and it's time to take a rest before it gets worse.

According to medical officials, if you think you might have the flu, don't risk infecting your coworkers. Just stay home.

It's never too late to get your flu shot. Joy Cauthorn, Safety and Infection Control Manager at Missouri Delta Medical Center, says it is your best defense against that nasty bug.

"We give the flu vaccine all the way up until March 31st,” Cauthorn said.

For those of us who've had the flu, we never want it again.

"I woke up and felt like someone had thrown me against the wall,” Gloria Ellis said.

Ellis says now she guards against the flu, especially after her last case took a turn for the worst.

"It turned into phenomena within a couple of days,” Ellis said.

She's not the only one trying to prevent further illness.

"It's important to me because I've got health issues so if I get the flu, it's going to be worse,” Ron Reazin said.

That's part of why Cauthorn says if you start feeling bad, don't brush is off.

"Stay at home if they're feeling sick instead of going to Wal-Mart and different places where crowds congregate,” Cauthorn said.

She says you might not even feel flu symptoms and still be contagious.

"If you're feeling weak and tired, achy, headache, temperature, coughing, sore throat, you probably need to stay home until you know for sure whether you have the flu or not,” Cauthorn said.

Cauthorn says at Missouri Delta Medical Center, they've only had one hospitalization from the flu this year, but the season is young.

"I don't think we are in full swing quite yet, but we are seeing more cases,” Cauthorn said.

That's why this time of year, it's important that we are all protecting ourselves and others.

"Try and keep myself healthy,” Reazin said.

"I don't want to have the flu,” Ellis said.

In addition to getting the flu shot, Cauthorn says remember to wash your hands, cover your mouths when we sneeze and cough.

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