(upbeat opening sound) – [Adrianna] 8:13 your time right now and flu season is in full swing. And this year, doctors are
warning about two strains. – [Melanie] That’s right.
And 7 on your side. Sam Sweeney is in Northwest now with what you can do to protect yourself. – [Sam] We are still
early in the flu season but tens of thousands across the country have already been hospitalized. And just in a few hours,
the CDC is going to release its brand new flu numbers. And we are expected to hit
peak later on this month. We want to see what was
happening in our area so we came out to MedStar Health and we are joined right
now by Dr. Gonzalez. Doctor, what are you seeing right now as far as patients here in our area and what can people do to
protect themselves now? – [Dr. Gonzalez] We are
starting seeing numbers. The flu season started earlier this year but it will peak later. What people can do is get the vaccine. It’s not completely effective
against the B virus. But it gives you enough protection against that one and the A. If you have symptoms, talk to doctor.
(woman coughing) You may be able to take Tamiflu (woman sneezing)
which is the oral agent for the flu. And that will lessen symptoms. – [Sam] You bring up that B strain. A lot of people may not
understand what that means. That is a certain strain that we weren’t really
anticipating this year. – [Dr. Gonzalez] Exactly. We, sort of, at the middle of the year decide which strains might be (woman coughing)
doing the season and this year one of the B strains are
not covered in the vaccine. So, we are seeing a lot more Influenza B than we’ve seen in another years. – [Sam] It’s not too late
for flu shot, though? – [Dr. Gonzalez] No, sir. Basically, we haven’t even peaked. – [Sam] We are considered
wide spread, though? – [Dr. Gonzalez] Oh, yes.
As much as last year’s. One of the worst flu
seasons as far as numbers. – [Sam] And real quick,
what can people do to when they are coming down on the cold, at least they think it’s a cold, when do we know it’s not a cold any more and it’s now a flu? – [Dr. Gonzalez] Well, you are gonna see very sudden symptoms. You are also gonna see extreme
fatigue, fever, chills, and any fever above 102 is
probably, this time of the year, gonna be the flu. – [Sam] Dr. Gonzalez, thanks
so much for joining us. We appreciate it. And again, those numbers
from the CDC are expected out later today. Reporting in Northwest at MedStar Health. Sam Sweeney, abc 7 news.