Pediatrician Dr. Joe Elser Discusses Tips for Avoiding the Flu

As we continue to report on the coronavirus, it's easy to lose sight of the health risks that's right in front of us. We're talking about the flu. We are not out of the woods yet. Type A and B flu strains continue to be a threat, especially to kids and CHI St. Vincent pediatrician Dr. Joe Elser sums it up this way.

"There's a lot more flu but maybe a little less severe than usual. And yet there are special groups of kids that need extra attention and that includes kids less than two, kids that have chronic medical problems, specifically asthma, diabetes, any kind of cancer. Even overweight kids are a little bit more at a risk to have complications from the flu. If a child has fever, cough, congestion like other viruses do, and they treat symptoms and they seem better, then they don't necessarily need to be seen."

But they do need to stay home from school. Keeping sick kids away from healthy ones prevents the spread. Keep them home until they are fever free for 24 hours, without treatment. You can cough for two weeks after having he flu, but as long as we don't have fever we're past the contagious stage.

And doctors continue to try and give kids their best shot. It's critical that they get the flu shot. We give the flu shot in kids as young as six months. The shots, the hand washing, watching for headaches, body aches, cough, congestion and the big indicator, fever.