Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department Dr. Vicki Whitacre says area hospitals haven't seen any cases of the flu so far this season, but they have been seeing an increase of ER patients with symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, coughing and sinus problems.
"Vomiting and diarrhea is gastrointestinal or stomach flu, that's not the same things as seasonal flu," explained Dr. Whitacre. "Seasonal flu is fever, aches, you feel terrible, you'll have a non-productive cough, you may have chills with it and you really feel lousy with the flu, you ache all over."
Whitacre says people should treat their illness symptomatically but if your symptoms don't improve, make an appointment to see a doctor. Whitacre say if you do get sick, make sure to wash your hands frequently and to cough into your shoulder. To avoid the flu, Whitacre says staying healthy and taking care of yourself are key.
"You need to be active, eat a good balanced diet so that you're getting the vitamins that you need to help your system to be able to protect you from these things and make the antibodies to them. And get enough rest. So many of us are sleep deprived and that lowers your ability to fight off infection, it lowers your immune system."
Pregnant women and people with chronic illnesses such as cancer or diabetes, should immediately contact a doctor if they have flu-like symptoms.