What's Going Around? Flu and its complications

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When asked What's Going Around this week, Dr. Mike Patrick, the emergency medicine expert at Nationwide Children's Hospital, said he and his colleagues are seeing patients with flu symptoms and its complications.

You'll remember last year was a bad year for flu. So far, this flu season, Patrick and his team said it is worse right now than it was this time a month ago. They are urging parents to remember the flu virus causes a lot of mucus production. This is important because just as it may seem someone with the flu should be getting better, mouth bacteria will travel and trigger complications including ear infections, sinus infections and perhaps the most frightening, infecting the lungs, causing pneumonia.

Patrick said there isn’t much to in terms of prevention because you cannot get rid of mouth bacteria.

“The most important thing is to recognize the signs of these complications early because they are bacterial infections,” he said. These bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics.

Pneumonia is the number one reason people die of the flu. Patrick said it's critical to monitor when flu symptoms seem to be improving then return or worsen and to get to your medical provider right away.