Zinc, probiotics, Airborne: Some suggestions pharmacists give as flu cases increase

(MGN Online)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Local pharmacies and hospitals say they are seeing an influx of patients coming in with flu-like symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's flu map shows that there is widespread flu activity in 46 states.

Pharmacists at the Timberlake Family Pharmacy said if you're experiencing flu-like symptoms to take a probiotic or zinc pill that he said could lessen the severity or the duration of the symptoms.

Pharmacist Vince Ettare said there are some over-the-counter options as well.

"There's oscillococcinum which is a homeopathic treatment, and then there's Airborne both of those are very popular," he said. "And then if you get into the more traditional nutritional supplements like berberine, ginseng, or garlic."

Ettare and doctors said they do agree that the flu shot is the best preventive tool available.

Dr. Stuart Kettinger has seen an influx of patients in the community coming in the emergency room at Bedford Memorial Hospital with the flu.

The flu shot is believed to cover 10-percent of the different flu strains.

"Those number will continue to change as we're able to really look back and retrospectively look at how well we did this flu season, because right now we are just getting those numbers to make our best guess," Dr. Kettinger said.

Of course both medical professionals suggest constant hand washing and cleaning surfaces around you.

If you have to venture out with the flu, doctors recommend you wear a mask.

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