Pasadena doctor says aggressive flu may continue to peak through at least March

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This year's flu peaked early, may continue for weeks to come and doctors believe it's one of the worst seasons for the aggressive and highly contagious strain. (KABC)

This year's flu peaked early and may continue to peak for weeks to come.

Doctors at the Healthcare Partners Urgent Care in Pasadena said the circulating strain is aggressive and very contagious.

Dozens of people waited hours at the Pasadena Clinic. Many of them hoped for an end to their miserable flu-like symptoms.

This season, the flu is hitting harder and earlier.

"I've been sick for seven days now and it's getting worse," Emily Juhlin, of Pasadena, said.

She added that her cough, body aches and congestion won't go away.

Lead physician Dr. Claudia Pfeil said in her 13 years of practice, this is the worst flu season she has ever seen. Urgent care physicians said this year's dominant flu strain takes 10 to 14 days to completely recover from.

If taken within the first 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, anti-virals like Tamiflu can speed up recovery by one to two days. But supplies are running low so doctors strongly recommend getting a flu shot.

But Juhlin skipped the flu vaccine because she said she often gets sick when she gets the shot.

Pfeil said despite what patients tell her, it can't make you sick and it does work. Even if it's only 10 to 30 percent effective, evidence shows the flu shot provides benefits.

"We've noticed that those patients with the more severe symptoms tend not to have been vaccinated," Pfeil said, "The flu could last through the end of February or even March, so I would emphasized that it's not too late to get the flu vaccine."

So what's your best bet for prevention? Avoid crowds, don't touch your face and constantly wash your hands.

But Pfeil said if you do get the flu, stay home. Manage your symptoms with fever reducers, cough expectorants and decongestants.

"Fluids, rest and minimizing any additional stress on your body are highly encouraged," she said.

If you want to skip the waiting room, Pfeil said call in because it's likely your care can be managed over the phone.
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healthCircle of Healthfluflu preventionflu seasonhealth watchdoctorsPasadenaLos Angeles County
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