"I recommend everyone get a flu shot," said Dr. Nicole Alu, a family physician with Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Laurel, Del. "I think it's the best protection."
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
, seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses.
Approximately 5 to 20 percent of U.S. residents get the flu each year.
"Compared to the last several years, this has been a very busy flu season, and I think difficult," said Alu
, noting it can be challenging to treat the public with the high influx of patients wanting to see their physicians.
If somebody is in those first five to seven days of the illness, they could potentially be contagious," said Alu
, "Your chances of getting the flu is very high.
emphasized that she
believes that getting a flu shot each year is the most effective way to prevent contracting influenza.
"I think there are a lot of people that you can't argue with, because they have their own view and their own experience with getting the flu shot, and I feel bad for them," she
"I go by the evidence-based medicine, and I think it's far more beneficial than harmful.
"I have seen a lot of people with the flu, but I haven't gotten it myself, and I got my flu shot."
Alu said seeing a physician as soon as possible can be beneficial to those who may already have the flu, as doctors may prescribe Tamiflu, which is known to shorten the length of the illness and may be taken by those who are 2 weeks old or older.
"They should get in touch with their provider within the first 24 to 48 hours, because if they're able to start the medication, it's going to be most effective if taken in those first few days," said Alu
emphasized that it is important to speak with a physician if one has concerns regarding flu season and getting the vaccination.
"There are ways to protect yourself and to treat it," said Alu