While it may look and feel like spring is here in Hawaii, flu season is lingering.
One Urgent Care center says viruses can be tricky because it can be in our system for about a week before we even show symptoms.
And within those seven days, the person has been spreading the virus without even knowing it.
“We had two different flu’s that started late for us,” said Romey Glidewell, a nurse practitioner at Braun Urgent Care in Kailua. “We started seeing [the flu] in February and March, which is normally the end of flu season.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that this flu season is the longest in a decade.
Here in Hawaii, Glidewell says the biggest problem she’s seen is H1N1.
She says dehydration is the biggest concern when it comes to viruses.
“There is a current upsurge in gastrointestinal—or a viral stomach bug—that’s been going around, it’s been a long viral season for us in general,” she said.
She said she’s noticed an increase in adults and children.
She adds that she doesn’t know why there’s an uptick so late in the season, but she said it’s hard to manage and educate on viruses because we might have it in our system without even knowing.
One parent said they dropped her child off at school earlier this week who had no signs of being sick. Within an hour, the school called and said her child had been throwing up and needed to go home.
“We shed this virus without having symptoms, so we have it in our system, our body is aware we have it, but it doesn’t recognize it until it gets to “x” amount of numbers,” Glidewell said.
“From what I’ve been seeing, it’s up to about seven days of an incubation period so you could have received it from someone seven days ago,” she said.
She advises kids to stay out of school for 24 to 48 hours after the flu symptoms clear.
She adds that taking care of your immune system, staying hydrated, getting plenty of rest, and not exhausting yourself are ways to help handle a virus.
She also advises people to wash their hands.
“I’m a big fan of all the old school remedies, like garlic is great, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc and these things that keep our immune system functioning well,” she said.
“When it comes to a virus, your body’s got to do the heavy lifting.”
Glidewell also says to be on the lookout for dehydration—and if kids aren’t interested in Pedialyte or Gatorade, you can try popsicles as well.