CINCINNATI -- Phones have been ringing off the hook at Hart Pharmacy in Cincinnati, Ohio since the beginning of the new year, pharmacist Eric Gillespie said Tuesday. It's not a surprise, considering the rising death toll in what experts say is an unusually severe flu season.
"The last month, we've seen a pretty large increase in the volume of Tamiflu, which is the drug of choice to combat the flu," Gillespie said.
But what else can help? Anyone who remains ill for more than a few days or develops a fever of more than 102 degree Fahrenheit should seek the advice of a doctor, but Gillespie said it can also be a good idea to prepare a "flu kit" to help treat smaller sniffles throughout the season.
"It's good to keep the things that work for you on hand," he said.
Here's what he said should go in it:
- Hand sanitizers, which can help both you and the people in your household avoid germ transmission if one of you becomes sick. If you're especially germ-conscious, you can also buy surgical-style masks meant to reduce the spread of airborne illness.
- Decongestants and pain relievers, which can dry up a runny nose and help reduce a slight fever.
- Water, which will help you stay hydrated as you ride out the course of your sickness.
You can still receive a flu shot at most local pharmacies. Check this map to find a location near you.