JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Doctors and their patients are the first to say the flu is out of control this year across the country and here in Region 8.
Local doctors said kids are the most common victims and only about half of the flu shots are protecting people this year. However, they said the community should not disregard the flu shot. The current one still keeps people from not getting as sick.
But one doctor has another remedy he swears by that is not only good for the soul.
"One of the things that comes to mind, and there actually is medical evidence to support it, is mom's chicken noodle soup, specifically the homemade noodle soup," said Dr. Shane Speights with St. Bernards Medical Center.
A study in the Chest Journal, the official publication of the American College of Chest Physicians, proved chicken noodle soup's ingredients are the perfect flu fighting foods.
"Fresh carrots, fresh celery, the chicken of course, noodles," Speights said. "Those specific, homegrown ingredients do help boost your immune system, do help individuals get over those illnesses quicker."
Dr. Speights is not the only one to stand behind the homemade concoction.
"Chicken soup's good," said pharmacist Brian Oholendt. "I mean it's hydrating, it has some nutrients in there."
And Oholendt says those two benefits, healthy eating and hydration, are two keys to fighting the flu.
"Hydration is always good and eight hours of sleep is wonderful to help fight off everything, to keep your body rested, keep your immune system up," Oholendt said.
Oholendt and Speights also recommend small doses of vitamin C and zinc, and cleanliness.
"Just washing your hands, covering your mouth," Oholendt said.
There is also Tamiflu, which they say is really the only medication that combats the flu. However, it only works if patients take it within 48 hours of their symptoms.
"Antibiotics don't work," Speights said. "There's really no other medications that work well against influenza."
So to fight the flu from running its usual seven to ten day course, natural, homemade remedies may be the way to go.
"Really homemade chicken noodle soup is one of those at the top of the list that can help you get over that illness quicker," Speights said.