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'Rough' flu season may be on the horizon

Posted at 7:10 AM, Nov 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-27 11:01:37-05

MILWAUKEE -- There's something you hope you did not carry home from Thanksgiving: Influenza!

The number of flu-related hospitalizations last season is nearly seven times higher than five years before, at more than 7,500 statewide. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services adds the strains are more deadly, from 75 influenza-related deaths in the 2013-2014 season to 379 this past season.

Doctor Chad Tamez with West Bend Medical tells us time and time again, he has heard patients who think their flu shot did not work, "When you actually ask them what their symptoms were, it was vomiting diarrhea and that's not the flu. We vaccinate for influenza which is a respiratory infection a respiratory virus not a stomach virus!"

A new drug just approved by the FDA to help fight the flu this season is Xofluza. It works to shorten your sickness by stopping the virus from replicating. It is similar to Tamiflu, except with this prescription drug, you take just one pill.

"I think its a good option for people who have problems taking medication," said Dr. Tamez, "But it's new and I don't have a lot of personal experience. I can't tell you my last ten patients had this problem or it worked really well for these people..."

Xofluza is not for children under 12 or women who are pregnant.

It is always best to talk to your doctor before taking medication.