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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – The Alabama Department of Public Health is reporting statewide influenza-like illness is at nearly 12%.

Luckily, most people can recover from the flu at home, but once you’re feeling sick the last thing you want is to go to the store and expose other people. So if you already have what you’ll need, you’re prepared.

Dr. Wesley Willeford, Jefferson County’s Medical Director of Disease Control, says the biggest thing is to stay hydrated. He recommends stocking up on sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade with electrolytes.

He says any over-the-counter medicine to help symptoms would be good to have, too, like Tylenol for fever or Ibuprofen for reducing muscle aches.

If someone else in your household already got the flu this season, Dr. Willeford says you might be able to use something already in the house.

“You can call your doctor and say hey, my significant other — whoever lives with me — they have the flu and I don’t as of yet,” explains Dr. Willeford. “You can actually use that medication as a preventative to help you avoid getting the flu so it sort of gets treatment in your system to give you extra protection against the flu.”

Dr. Willeford says to call your doctor first before using that medicine.

Of course, the biggest preventative from getting extremely sick is that flu shot. He recommends getting it now if you haven’t yet because there could be weeks, if not months, of flu season left.

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