Sniffling, Sneezing, Coughing? You're Not Alone

(NECN: Julie Loncich, Boston) - According to the Centers for Disease and Control, the United States is on track for one of the worst flu seasons on record.

"The hospitals have been quite busy and quite full," Dr. Anita Barry of the Boston Public Health Commission said.

If you've been sick or know someone who has been, you're not alone.  

Many in the Bay State have rung in this new year with a runny nose. In fact, according the Boston Public Health Commission, we've seen the highest number of flu cases since the 2009-2010 H1N1 season, and this particular strain, strain A, is particularly nasty.

"That's associated with an earlier influenza season, more prolonged influenza season and unfortunately a more prolonged more severe illness," Dr. Barry said.

So aside from the fever, the heartache, body ache and sore throat, how do you know if you really have the flu?

"If the person feels well enough to get out of bed and do their daily activities, that's not influenza," Dr. Barry said.

"We've been majorly populated with it," Mike Engelskirger, a children's hospital nurse, said.

Engelskirger says his ER has been inundated with sick patients and has done his best to keep his family well.

"He got a flu shot, I got a flu shot, she got a flu shot. Cleanliness is the big thing," Engelskirger said.

Doctors urge you to get a flu shot if you haven't done so already, even if those who have gotten the flu shot have still gotten the flu.

"I expect we're going to be seeing influenza in Boston for quite a few more weeks," Dr. Barry said.

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