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There's been a spike in flu cases throughout our area

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Holidays are a time to get together with friends and family, but that can also expose you to illnesses.

There's been an outbreak of flu cases in our area.

WSBT spoke to a local doctor who says the flu has been bad in the southern states. It has now made its way here and we all need to be aware of the symptoms to protect ourselves and our loved ones this coming holiday weekend.

Dr. Jesse Hsieh with South Bend Clinic says you need to listen to your body. Especially because there's an increase in flu cases throughout our area.

"We've been diagnosing that in our offices and it's becoming more and more. It started about 2 weeks ago,” said Hsieh.

This peak in the flu is hitting at the worst time -- the holidays.

“The problem is many people are contagious even before that happens, so they'll get sick they might have a day or two they'll be off or under the weather. They don't really know they have it yet ."

Dr. Hsieh says that's why it's so important to know the symptoms.

"They have very high fevers, 101, 103. They feel like everything hurts in their body just to touch or to move and it's a respiratory illness, it's a really bad cough."

It just takes a quick swab test for doctors to diagnose. And that early diagnosis can help you take care of yourself and your loved ones this holiday season.

“Don't push yourself. Make sure you stay hydrated, watch your symptoms. Don't just push through it, because it could be the beginning of something terrible."

You should especially watch your symptoms if you are going to be spending time with someone who is immuno-compromised or a newborn. That's when catching the flu can be deadly.

Dr. Hsieh says if you haven't gotten your flu shot there's still time. He also says a basic way to protect yourself is to just wash your hands.

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