What's going around? Flu, pneumonia & shingles circulating in Tri-State

Flu, Pneumonia & Shingles circulating in Tri-State (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Family medicine specialists are focusing on what everyone needs to know to keep themselves from getting ill.

Some early flu cases are turning into pneumonia in some cases and there are reports that doctors are seeing more cases of shingles, which is the return of the chicken pox virus in the body. It causes a bad rash when your immune system drops.

All of the illnesses have vaccines to help with prevention. The shingles is a onetime shot. The pneumonia vaccine is given usually only to those considered at risk.

“It really depends on your history and your medical problems which one you get, and when you get it,” said Dr. Robert Tracy of St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

And it may be one injection, or two.

“There's Prevnar 13 and then there's Pneumovax or Pneumococcal 23, some people need one of those, some people need both of those,” said Dr. Tracy.

The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone, but a new report from the Cleveland Clinic says it may be beneficial at helping you also prevent pneumonia, mainly because pneumonia can be a complication that results from the flu.

Bacterial pneumonia can develop after someone has suffered a case of the flu. While it often starts with traditional flu like symptoms such as a fever, body aches and headaches, the fever in some people begins to spike, and a serious cough and breathing problems set in.

Pneumonia is usually confirmed with a chest x-ray and spots on the lungs. This can happen both in healthy people, and those at more serious risk, which is why if you get sick you should seek medical attention right away.

While the flu virus is not treated with antibiotics, bacterial pneumonia is, so it's important to seek medical care as soon as possible for pneumonia symptom, and shingles as well.

Shingles tends to set in when the immune system drops. You can only get it if you have had the chicken pox earlier in life and it resurges.

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