Cold weather extends cold and flu season

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This cold and flu season has been a long one, with pharmacies and drug stores noticing the problems the most since they are on the front lines of the fight to stay healthy.

Cold and flu cases typically taper off by now, as germs play themselves out over the course of the winter, but doctors and pharmacists say the number of people they see still suffering from colds and flu viruses in late March heading into April are usually little to none. This year's strains of the virus and the long, cold winter are dragging the sick season out a little longer than normal.

"People are tending to stay inside," explained Leslie Ray, Kroger Clinical Coordinator. "They're not getting out, and if you stay inside and kinda continuing to pass around the infection--not getting well," she said.

Ray says the most common symptoms people are still suffering include nasal and head congestion and upper respiratory problems. Most can be treated with over-the-counter medications.

"It's a longer more aggressive flu," Ray said. "People are being sick for a week to two weeks versus the four the seven days. So, it's hanging on a lot longer than usual."

The longer cold season also means an overlap of the spring discomfort that brings a whole new set of problems.

As we approach April, Hoosiers are buying nasal decongestants like Sudafed, antihistamines, like Benadryl and Tylenol to deal with the body aches and pains.