I've got DayQuil, cough drops, liquids. I'm not just doing a story about the flu, I'm actually getting over the flu, so who better to hunt for the facts?
After a couple of calls, I found myself in the office of Dr. Mindi Cohen of Comprehensive Primary Care in Bethesda.
She said she sees people with a wide range of symptoms, "High fever, aches, sore throat, cough, congestion - others are presenting achy, tired, 'I've been fatigued for the last several days, I don't know why I'm so tired.'"
That's exactly what I was grappling with, a sore throat and never-ending aches and fatigue. True story: I didn't get the flu shot.
Dr. Cohen said that was a mistake.
"It's really still important to get the vaccine, it's important especially not only for yourself, but if you have young children or if you're around older patients... you're protecting the community when you're getting the flu shot as well," she said.
Dr. Cohen said even now, this late in the flu season, we should get the shot because there are several strains. And she even said if you got the flu, like me, you could a different strain later on.
If you're like me and thought, 'well doesn't the flu shot get you sick?' Dr. Cohen's said, "The flu shot can give you symptoms like the flu but it doesn't give you the flu."
So, the quick way to help avoid the flu (read: help, not 100% avoid) is to get the flu shot.
Dr. Cohen said other ways to fight the flu include washing your hands often.
Let's say you get the flu. The best advice Dr. Cohen has is go to the doctor now. A doctor can prescribe Tamiflu. But, don't wait, it's only effective within the first two days. And, it can shave the time of your bout with the flu by at least a day.
My doctor gave me a prescription for Tamiflu. My CVS didn't have any. The Walgreens across the street was running low. The maker said there's a packaging delay for the liquid form. But, the shortage should only last until mid-January.
And if you have a fever, do everyone a favor, and stay home. That's when you're contagious.