Cold weather brings illnesses

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GRAYSON COUNTY-The cold weather can also bring health problems. A local health department says people have been coming in with respiratory problems, including the flu. Victoria Maranan spoke with a registered nurse about the symptoms you should be looking out for and how you can prevent getting infected.
Have you noticed a lot of sniffling, sneezing and coughing lately?

"A lot of people are showing up at emergency rooms with what we call influenza-like illnesses. They may or may not have the actual flu, but they have symptoms like the flu--respiratory in nature," said Denise Wardell, a registered nurse with the Grayson county health department.

She said it's expected this time of the year. In fact, January is the peak month for flu cases in Grayson county. There were over 1600 reported cases of flu-like illnesses in Texas during the last week of December, according to The Department of Social and Health services.
Wardell said she also saw bronchitis, pneumonia and strep throat and a lot of people don't know what they have, until it gets worse.

"You'll see people a lot of times they'll start out with that they think is allergies. A little sniffy nose and they'll say, 'oh, I got allergies.’ And the next thing you know, they'll have fever and chills and body aches and the cough, pretty much that's typical of the flu," she said.
Here are some symptoms you should watch out for, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:
• Fever/chills
• Cough
• Sore throat
• Runny/stuffy nose
• Headaches
• Extreme fatigue
• Vomiting
• Diarrhea

If you encounter these symptoms health professionals said it's time to see a doctor because infections are easy to spread.

"People coughing and coughing into their hands, and then they touch surfaces and they don't wash their hands. Someone comes behind them, they touch those surfaces, they don't wash their hands and then they rub their eyes, or their nose and their mouth and they're infected," Wardell said.

The Grayson county health department said you can help stop the spread of the flu by washing your hands and it's also not too late to get a flu shot. But If you're already sick, Wardell said it's best for you to stay home.

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