Flu season continues to cause pain in Coachella Valley

Best prevention now is to plan ahead for early vaccination next flu season

PALM DESERT, Calif. - You might think the coughing and sneezing is over for this season, but the flu isn't leaving just yet.

"It is getting a little late, but flu season generally carries over until May, and it's not uncommon to still see cases through April and May," Eisenhower Urgent Care medical director Russell Grant said.

Grant said the thousands of people in town the past few weeks for Coachella and Stagecoach didn't help.

"Whenever you get a lot of people in close proximity, it is easy to spread bacteria and viruses throughout the crowd. Certainly when a lot of people are coming from out of town and over seas as well, they can bring a number of these respiratory bugs with them," Grant said.

As flu season nears its ends,  Dr. Grant told us vaccines are generally not available across the community.

"It's getting late in the season. It takes a couple weeks for the vaccine to really take affect. You're really looking at May, so the amount of immunity is dwindling since it's truly the end of the season."

So, if you happen to catch the flu on it's way out, "The best treatment for the flu is really rest and fluids and controlling the symptoms with Tylenol, Ibuprofin for the fever, cough syrup if you have a cough," Grant said.

He said next year, plan ahead.

"Get vaccinated earlier in the season, September, October November," Grant said.

That should keep you immune until May, the entire flu season.

We called a few local Walgreens, and they also are not giving out any vaccines anymore. One pharmacist there said most Walgreens return vaccines about March.

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