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The Doctors welcome internist Dr. Ian Tong, Chief Medical Officer of Doctor On Demand, to discuss why the baby boomer generation has been hit so hard by the flu this season.
Dr. Tong explains the flu changes every year and new strains occur. He says this year, doctors are seeing the H3N2 strain which many baby boomers may not have seen early enough in life to build immunities against. He goes on to explain that there is influenza A and also influenza B and that it is possible to get both during one season of the flu.
Dr. Tong says one option when dealing with the flu is online medical assistance such as Doctor on Demand, which connects patients to high-quality physicians via video chat on their phone. During a video chat, the doctor asks about a patient's history, does an exam and possibly diagnose and start the patient on treatment.
The Doctors also discuss possible ways you might be increasing your chances of catching the flu, which include:
- Too much sugar: Dr. Andrew Ordon says that eating or drinking 100 grams of sugar can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by 40 percent.
- Not enough protein: The Doctors explain how the body uses dietary protein from food to make the proteins used to fight off the flu, and that eating enough protein is key.
- Too much alcohol: Dr. Ordon says that just a few drinks can suppress how white blood cells multiply, which are needed to fight off the flu virus. He also notes that chronic drinking can affect the cilia -- the small hairs in the nose -- which keep out bacteria and viruses.
They also recommend washing your hands frequently and avoiding those who might already have the flu.
Dr. Tong says that you can download the Doctor on Demand app and register in order to have a doctor in minutes if needed. To save $25 on one Doctor on Demand medical visit, enter Code: FLU2018.
Doctor on Demand was created by The Doctors' executive producer.