January 21st , 2014 10:00 am Leave a comment

With flu ‘widespread’ in Tenn., local doctor says don’t put off treatment

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continue to classify reports of flu in Tennessee and 39 other states as “widespread,” and a local doctor is encouraging those with flu-like symptoms to seek help sooner rather than later.

Photo by Brandon Hicks Karen Pena gets a flu shot from Jim Anderson at Union Prescription Shop.

Photo by Brandon Hicks
Karen Pena gets a flu shot from Jim Anderson at Union Prescription Shop.

Dr. Buddy Clayton, of Elizabethton’s First Assist Urgent Care, said the drug oseltamivir – more commonly known by the brand name Tamiflu – can do well against the virus, but it needs to be applied early into the disease’s gestation.

“If they can catch it in the first couple of days, Tamiflu has a possibility of shortening the duration,” Clayton said. “It can keep a virus out of the cells of a body where the body can recognize it and actually attack it. But if you wait past two days, then most of the virus is in the cells, and therefore the medicine doesn’t do you any good.”

With as many as 12 reported deaths from flu in this young year, Clayton advised that everyone take precautions to make sure they don’t jeopardize their health.

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