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      2011 cold and flu season outlook

      If you've made it this far into the cold and flu season without catching the crud -- consider yourself lucky.

      Now that we're well into the season, doctors say the coughing, sneezing and sore throats are picking back up.

      "We're seeing a lot of pneumonia illness, we're seeing a lot of asthma related illness, a lot of respiratory illness that just comes in the form of a cold that can come down into some bronchitis, that kind of thing," said John Ward, M.D. for one Amarillo BSA Urgent Care Center. "It's a real common thing in the winter time, people are inside more, kids are back in school, there's a lot of respiratory illness and that's how you spread it," he added.

      But the good news is, this season is turning out to be less of a "cold and flu season" and more of just a "cold season".

      "Usually we see more flu by this time of year in the past. Last year this time we certainly saw a lot more influenza," said Dr. Ward. "We just haven't seen it."

      Naturally, some of the best things to do to either keep from catching the crud, or kicking it as soon as you feel it coming on is to get a flu shot, wash your hands, drink lots of fluids and not share any food or drink with anyone else.

      "Warm salt water gargle, really good hydration, lots of fluids, lots of sprays or cough drops for your throat," he added.