Doctors give tips on how to prepare for fall season illnesses

Doctors are seeing more cases of strep and flu in East Texas.

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - With fall right around the corner, doctors are seeing patients come in with a slew of concerns: seasonal allergy symptoms, sinus infections, strep throat and the list goes on.

“Patients often will come in with either congestion, cough, runny nose, throat is hurting, body aches," UT Health East Texas physician Sarah Kuruvilla said. “[Patients come in with] flu like symptoms, we see more of strep throat.”

So why do people tend to get sick more during the fall?

“One [reason] could be seasonal changes and climate changes,"she said. "I think also school is back in session, a lot of kids get sick, I think a lot of it has to do with also personal hygiene.”

According to the CDC while seasonal influenza viruses are detected year-round in the United States, the flu is most common during the fall and winter.

While there’s a pretty long list of things that can possibly cause illness, there are ways to lessen your chances.

“Frequent hand washing, avoiding sharing drinks with others or eating utensils with others," she said.

Kuruvilla said it’s also important to disinfect areas where germs are shared.

“Doorknobs, handles, [...] even if you’re sharing pens, if you’re shaking hands with people," she said. "So I think it’s good especially in the fall season to be more mindful of hand washing.”

But even with the possibility of getting sick some people aren’t too worried.

“It doesn’t bother me that the flu is coming around and I don’t freak out and say 'oh I need to go get the flu shot," Smith County resident Melanie Law said. "I just figure if I get it I’m going to fight it off and drink orange juice until I feel better.”

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